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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/5/14

Falsehoods in the NYT's Editorial, 'Mr. Putin Tests the West in Ukraine'

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Eric Zuesse

The only way to expose lies is within context; so, this will be somewhat lengthy:

The Times editorial opens with a falsehood: "There is no longer any doubt: Russian troops are in Ukraine, not as volunteers, as the rebel commander in Donetsk would have the world believe, but in units equipped with mobile artillery and heavy military equipment." Their only cited source for that statement is "a senior NATO officer." But should anyone take as a source, on that type of matter, either an anonymous U.S.-NATO official, or an anonymous Russian official? That's hardly an unprejudiced "source," in either case -- and it's their only source on this.

The context here has to be understood: During the run-up to our 19 March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Times was similarly taking, as sources, anonymous U.S. officials, who lied about the evidence, saying that aluminum tubes were definitely being used for making weapons of mass destruction, when they weren't at all, and that "uranium from Niger" was being snuk into Iraq for nuclear bombs that were also a fabrication -- outright forged 'evidence,' selectively accepted, while the Times selectively rejected, and avoided even to mention, far more-solid evidence to the exact contrary. They wanted us to invade, and we did. The Times apologized for their "errors" years later, after the damage had already been done -- damage (many thousands of corpses, and several trillions of dollars in costs) that the Times greatly assisted George W. Bush to produce, by helping to sell the country on doing it.

The Times is today trying to repeat their catastrophic success, in Ukraine and elsewhere, simply because their readership continue to subscribe, notwithstanding the paper's proven abysmal journalistic quality -- which wins top awards, even after having been demonstrated by that catastrophic experience to be actually dismally, even catastrophically, poor.

The Times has not improved since then. There has been no accountability for those thousands of corpses, and trillions of dollars, wasted in Iraq. Readers still buy the paper. And, so, this type of 'journalism' (actually mere stenography to the existing U.S. regime -- Bush then, Obama now) (transparently just that, and nothing more), continues on, uninterrupted.

Anyway, the Times allegation here is certainly false. There is plenty of doubt, though the Times says, "There is no longer any doubt." Their citing only one -- an entirely untrustworthy -- source for their allegation is like calling their readers fools to their very faces, but their readers buy it: they still buy the paper, as if it were reliable; and so they are what the Times management think they are, and the Times merely takes advantage of that, and of them, history-be-damned.

However, one needn't necessarily go as far as Paul Craig Roberts on this matter, when he headlined on August 17th, "In The West, Respect for Truth No Longer Exists," and when he said there, "Now we have the media story of the armored Russian column that allegedly crossed into Ukraine and was destroyed by Ukraine's rag-tag forces," and that, "British reporters fabricated this story or were handed it by a CIA operative working to build a war narrative. The disreputable BBC hyped the story without investigating." He's probably right on all of that except "The disreputable BBC," because the BBC is reputable just like the Times is; and bad too, like the Times is; but the Times allegation here is certainly false, regardless of whether the paper (or the BBC, or etc.) is "reputable."

The point here, in any case, is that despite the Times allegation, there still hasn't been any reliable evidence published anywhere, that Russia's troops are fighting in Ukraine (as the opening of the Times editorial alleges), nor even evidence on this issue that's based on trustworthy sources. None at all.

So: the Times editorial opens with this blatant and even glaring falsehood.

Next, their editorial states, "new, tougher Western economic sanctions are obviously needed to make clear to President Vladimir Putin of Russia that the West views his lies and escalating aggression as a major threat." But, actually, the existing sanctions hurt "the West," and might even be helping Russia, by tying Russia more to China and other non-Western countries; so, the Times's "obviously" is likewise (and also quite obviously) false. European Union commerce with Russia is ten times what America's is; and the EU is definitely hurting from these sanctions. Russia's top-four sources for imports are China (15%), Germany (14%), Ukraine (5.5%), and Belarus (4.6%); and Russia's top-four export markets are Netherlands (9.2%), China (8.1%), Germany (6.5%), and Ukraine (5.7%). In the future, on account of the sanctions (that the Times says are "obviously needed" and must be made "tougher"), we'll probably see more of China, Brazil, and India, and less of Europe and Ukraine, there. Furthermore, the likely resulting separation of the world, into these two trading-blocs -- one that includes Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand; and the other that includes Russia and most of the rest of the world -- could hurt "the West," far more than it will the rest.

Consequently, it is ridiculously false to assert, as the Times does (without documentation or support), that "new, tougher Western economic sanctions are obviously needed."

Sanctions are economic measures; and the sanctions thus far have also driven Russia, along with China and several other countries, to increase their move to abandon the dollar and to establish new alternative international economic institutions so that the end of the dollar as the international reserve currency is now seriously on the horizon, whereas previously it was just talk.

Next, the Times editorial praises the assertion by Obama's U.N. Ambassador in which she had said that Russian troops "fight alongside illegal separatists" in Ukraine. No evidence was presented by the Times on that. (Merely our Government's saying it is enough for them and their gullible readership.) Nor is mention being made by the Times that the Obama Administration illegally perpetrated a coup d'etat in February that overthrew Ukraine's last democratically elected President, who had won in his 2010 election a truly nationwide election, that had near 70% turnout in all parts of the country. In Ukraine's subsequent May 25th 'election,' which has been the only one held since our February coup there, only the areas in Ukraine that favored our coup were allowed to vote, and the other areas didn't even want to vote in that election, because the government that was holding it was bombing them. See the election's turnout map at wikipedia, which is here,_2014#mediaviewer/File:РРРРdegrees_РРРР' '"Р_РРdegrees_РРРРdegrees'"Р' РРРР..._РРРР' Рdegrees..._П' РРРРРР'"Рdegrees_РР' Рdegrees--РР_2014_РР_РР' ''РРdegrees....PNG

and this turnout contrasts sharply with the turnout in the election that chose the President, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama overthrew in February

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that (more...)
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