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When Is a Putsch a Putsch?

By       Message Robert Parry     Permalink
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But that would have violated an unwritten rule of the MSM's coverage of the Ukraine crisis, to pretend that the neo-Nazi militias were simply one of Vladimir Putin's "delusions" or a figment of Russian propaganda or at most a minor and insignificant factor in ousting Yanukovych.

Seeing a "Putsch"

Yet, while the crucial neo-Nazi violence in carrying out the Feb. 22 coup is whisked away to the memory hole and the word "putsch" is carefully avoided, an opposite phenomenon has occurred in reporting about resistance to the new Kiev government in Crimea and now eastern Ukraine. There, one can use the word "putsch."

In those cases, the resistance is blamed on Russian "aggression," since it's apparently unthinkable that ethnic Russians who have witnessed a violent overthrow of their elected president -- spearheaded by neo-Nazis -- might actually want to resist the imposition of an unelected and extreme new government.

This alternative narrative -- one that makes much more sense than the MSM's storyline -- is that the ethnic Russians feel disenfranchised by the coup organized in western Ukraine where the capital of Kiev is located. Their elected president had to flee for his life and a rump parliament took over, immediately "impeaching" him and passing legislation targeting Russian speakers in the eastern and southern sectors.

An American parallel might be: what would happen if the Red States elected a U.S. president but people in the Blue States around Washington D.C. violently seized the White House and imposed a new government? Would the folks in the Red States simply bow to the new order as a rump Congress passed laws targeting the rights and the interests of the Red States?

The rump Ukrainian parliament also passed a harsh austerity plan demanded by the Washington-based International Monetary Fund in order to secure $18 billion in loan guarantees. Even acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the handpicked choice of U.S. Assistant Secretary Nuland to run the new government, has acknowledged that the IMF plan is "very unpopular, very difficult, very tough."

The coup regime also has appointed new governors to bring the eastern and southern provinces under Kiev's control. Yet, when people in those regions resist this imposition of power by unelected officials, the MSM frames the protests as illegitimate.The Washington Post led its Tuesday's editions this way:

"KIEV, UKRAINE -- Pro-Russia demonstrators in eastern Ukraine declared separatist republics in two cities on Monday, and Ukrainian officials accused Moscow of orchestrating the moves as the first step toward launching an invasion.

"In Washington, the Obama administration expressed deep skepticism that the scattered uprisings and building takeovers in cities such as Donetsk and Kharkiv were spontaneous. 'There is strong evidence suggesting some of these demonstrators were paid,' said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary."

The article by Kathy Lally and Will Englund continues in that vein, presenting essentially a conspiracy theory that blames the Russian government for the political unrest, albeit without presenting any actual evidence to support the suspicions.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry, who has emerged as the leading spokesman for the hawkish State Department bureaucracy, blamed the eastern Ukrainian resistance to Kiev's control on undercover actions by Russia.

"What we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis with paid operatives across an international boundary," Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

So, while the Feb. 22 coup in Kiev was portrayed as a simple uprising of Ukrainian patriots -- with no attention paid to the $5 billion that Assistant Secretary Nuland herself said the U.S. has invested in Ukraine's "European aspirations," nor the 65 projects in Ukraine run by the U.S.-funded NED, nor with little notice of the organized violence by neo-Nazi paramilitary forces from western Ukraine -- the resistance to the coup in Crimea and now in eastern and southern Ukraine could only result from dark manipulations orchestrated by Russian President Putin in the Kremlin.

It is that kind of biased journalism that has now become the norm of the MSM and, indeed, across significant parts of the "blogosphere." Rather than learning to be more skeptical after the Iraq War deceptions a decade ago, the major news outlets appear to have become even more gullible, more integrated into the government's propaganda structure, less able to provide balanced and independent journalism.

The U.S. reporting on crises in Iraq, Syria, Iran and now Ukraine reveal a nearly complete disconnect from the real world, as if the MSM is operating in a parallel universe.

Old-fashioned reporting -- where journalists took pride in uncovering information that spoiled a U.S. government scheme to dupe the public -- has almost completely disappeared. Now, we see what looks like a competition between government officials and mainstream journalists to produce the most extreme distortion of the truth.

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at

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