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Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas

By       Message Mike Whitney     Permalink
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From Counterpunch


New York Times building in New York City.
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The New York Times is currently engaged in one of its most ambitious projects: Removing a sitting president from office. In fact, Times columnist Nicolas Kristof even said as much in a recent article titled "How Can We Get Rid of Trump?"

Frankly, it's an idea that I find attractive, mainly because I think Trump's views on immigration, the environment, human rights, civil liberties and deregulation are so uniformly horrible, they could destroy the country. But the Times objections are different from my own. The reason the Times wants Trump removed is because Trump wants to normalize relations with Russia, which threatens to undermine Washington's effort to project US power deeper into Central Asia.

Trump's decision to normalize relations with Moscow poses a direct threat to Washington's broader imperial strategy to control China's growth, topple Putin, spread military bases across Central Asia, implement trade agreements that maintain the dominant role of western-owned mega-corporations, and derail attempts by Russia and China to link the wealthy EU to Asia by expanding the web of pipeline corridors and high-speed rail that will draw the continents closer together creating the largest and most populous free trade zone the world has ever seen.

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This is what the US foreign policy establishment and, by inclusion, the Times are trying to avoid at all cost. The economic integration of Asia and Europe must be blocked to preserve Washington's hegemonic grip on world power. That's the whole deal in a nutshell.

So don't be fooled, the Times doesn't care any more about the suffering of immigrant families who have been victimized by Trump's extremist policies than they do about the three million refugees that have fled America's wars in Libya and Syria. The fact that the Times continues to mischaracterize this vast human exodus as some sort of natural disaster instead of the predictable spillover from persistent US aggression, just confirms the fact that the Times is not a reliable source of unbiased information at all. It is a political publication that crafts a political narrative reflecting the views of politically-minded elites whose strategic objectives cannot be achieved without more brainwashing, more coercion and more war.

Let's consider, for a minute, the Times article that precipitated the current furor over Trump's alleged connection to Russian intelligence. This is the article that's been held up by numerous members of congress and the media as ironclad proof of Trump's collusion with Moscow. Here's an excerpt from the article:

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"Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

"American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election." ("Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence," New York Times)

There's no reason to read any further, because the entire article follows this same basic pattern, that is, the article is shaped to create the impression that the Trump camp teamed up with the Russians to torpedo Hillary's campaign. Unfortunately, the Times presents no hard evidence that the "call logs and intercepted communications (that) are part of a larger trove of information that the F.B.I." even exist. Nor have they proved that anyone in the Trump camp ever communicated with people in Russia (excluding Michael Flynn, of course) let alone, collaborated to undermine the presidential election. It's all 100% uncorroborated fluff.

So what's going on here? Why would the Times run an article alleging impeachable offenses -- which has sharpened the attacks on Trump by his critics in the media, the congress and in foreign capitals -- without providing any evidence that their claims are true? None of the intelligence agents cited in the article have come forward and identified themselves (as one might expect when the charges are this serious), and as the Times admits, "The F.B.I. declined to comment."

So they have nothing, right?

One can only conclude that the real intention of the article was to generate as much suspicion as possible -- in order to damage Trump as much as possible -- without really saying much of anything, that is, to create the impression of wrongdoing without providing any proof of wrongdoing. And, in that regard, the Times certainly succeeded. It has been a very impressive smear campaign.

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(By the way, in a Sunday morning interview on Fox News, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said that top intelligence officials told him that there was no collusion between Trump's people and Russia. Priebus said that "top-level people," in the intelligence community told him "that that story in the New York Times is complete garbage. And quite frankly, they used different words than that."

Not surprisingly, Fox News host Chris Wallace demanded that Priebus reveal his sources, a demand that Wallace never made of the Times.)

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.


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