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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/24/15

"Russian aggression"--CBS provides a perfect example of imperial disinformation

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The pre-requisite is a pretty tall order. The problem here is (and I am sympathetic) that picking up a history book, watching the history Channel or the PBS Newshour, or what seems like a respectable magazine is well-nigh useless. The biggest share of foundational propaganda is delivered by history books, as most historians at any given time are busy singing the praises of the status quo. It's been that way for thousands of years. So you must look for counter-establishment voices, again not easy for you because, despite the Internet, the world of "information and opinion" is still dominated by mainstream sources. So when you start on your search for iconoclastic viewpoints, you face something of a triple challenge: you likely never heard of them, don't even know where to begin to look for them, and once found, you are likely to reject what they say due to your own heavy indoctrination in the system's "truths." Yea, the American brainwash is so potent and subtle that your mind will go into full rejectionist mode, ten times worse than your body rejecting a full organ transplant, the minute it encounters anything that contradicts the sacred catechism. That means you must persist, and not only persist but begin to do something really novel in a culture accustomed to received "wisdom": using your brain to measure and compare different versions of reality, correlating them with the facts, as far as your own personal experience can attest"and hope for the best. As you can see, this is pretty much impossible for most Americans who, by alarming majorities, don't even know who Joe Biden is. Not to mention that America is a "can do," anti-intellectual nation impatient with long explanations.

Let the above serve as a little digression to show you why CBS and its minions (the grossly overpaid on camera disinformers, like the unctuous media courtier Charlie Rose, or in this specific case Margaret Brennan) can strut around winning awards for "journalism," while lying--wittingly or unwittingly--to their hearts' content, with total impunity. For this is what passes for professional journalism these days, what is being held up in J-schools as the meat-and potatoes stuff of daily journalism, and therefore what legions of young would-be reporters are expected to imitate, if they know what's good for them. (Now, that's another story we best leave for another day.)

So, without simplifying matters unduly or insulting anyone gratuitously, let me sketch out here why I think this is such a good case of the Big Lie in action, the big lie in the service of war--the most criminal variant in the whole arsenal of disinformation.

For starters, Ashton Carter, a card-carrying Russophobe and war-lover par excellence, is a former Harvard don now acting as the smarmy helmsman of the highly corporatized Pentagon, America's gianormous tool for mayhem in the world. At present, as part of the Obama team, he's working hard to continue the criminal strategy pursued by several presidents already, and amplified by Obama, of encircling and destabilizing Russia, at any cost. (They are trying the same crazy idea on China, too, under the pretext of protecting "weaker nations" in the Pacific region, the so-called "pivot to Asia.") They do that because after the Soviet Union's implosion in 1989, America quickly grew accustomed to being the only superpower in the world, what some call the "unipolar doctrine" and now will not tolerate any other power to contest its "right" to do as it pleases, anywhere, anytime, let alone powers like Russia or China bent on building a sovereign-states multipolar world. That's what Obama means when he (like others before him) speak in reverent tones of America being "the indispensable nation." Global hegemony. Unipolarity.

But don't take it from me. As a leftist I am expected to despise self-impressed, bloated slobs like Ashton Carter, a warmongering corporatist from head to toe. No, take it from a libertarian voice, that of Daniel McAdams, writing for the Ron Paul Institute. Allow me to quote him at length since it will save us some time:

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter comes (back) to government service via the military-industrial complex. Whether in the "private" sector or in government military positions, Carter has made his fortune (and those of others) pushing an aggressive and interventionist US foreign policy.

Secretary Carter was in Berlin yesterday, pushing the idea that Germany needs to massively increase its military spending to counter what he calls "Russian aggression" in Europe. Currently Germany spends approximately one percent of its GDP on the military and Carter would like to see that amount doubled. (In Japan they are playing the same tune, urging Japan to abandon its longtime antiwar state policy in favor of rearmament to repurpose Japan as a new military counterweight against China.--Eds)

But Carter's Pentagon also sent a troubling message to Germany that one hopes stems from a confused understanding of 20th century history.

Germany must "dispose of the cold war playbook," a senior military official said, and instead should "increase [its] security role in the world, commensurate with [its] political and economic weight."

Germany must forget the post-World War II relative balance in Europe and again assert itself militarily as the master of the European land mass, they urge. Germans, who have been flagellating themselves for more than seven decades over the sins of the monsters who seized power in the 1930s, will hopefully reject the revisitation of such a role.

Is Ashton Carter encouraging Germany to gear up for another invasion of Russia? It is unclear but implied.

In Carter's mind, the current stand-off in Europe stems from Russia's attempt to resurrect the Soviet Union and the Cold War. Russia is trying to "drag us back to the past," he complained yesterday. And the US will not allow that to happen.

Asked how exactly Russian "aggression" takes shape on the ground in Europe, Carter again throws out the catch-phrase "hybrid," which we are supposed to know means"well whatever the Pentagon and the Beltway think-tankarians want it to mean. Remember "COIN?"

Said Carter:

"[W]e're attentive to the hybrid aspects of potential contingencies. Hybrid meaning -- I assume you know what the expression means. But so paying attention hybrid warfare, and the ability to deter that.

While condemning Russian "hybrid" aggression (although Russia maintains no major military bases outside its territory), the US-dominated NATO has announced plans to station thousands of US troops -- 40,000 total -- and heavy military equipment on Russia's border in the Baltics.
( SOURCE: Daniel McAdams, Sec Def Carter to Russia: 'Don't Drag Us Back to the Past').

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Media critic and former economist P. Greanville is The Greanville Post's founding editor ( He also serves as publisher for Cyrano's Journal Today. He has a lifelong interest in the triumph of justice and (more...)
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