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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/13/17

When "Disinformation" Is Truth

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From Consortium News


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The anti-Russian McCarthyism that has spread out from the United States to encompass the European Union, Canada and Australia has at its core an implicit recognition that neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy have failed.

When I recently asked a European journalist why this anti-Russian hysteria had taken root among mainstream European political parties, he answered with a question: "Do you think they can run on their success in handling the recession and the refugees?"

In other words, European voters are angry about the painful economic conditions that followed the Wall Street crash of 2008 and the destabilizing surge of immigrants fleeing from Western "regime change" wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.

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So, like the Democratic Party that doesn't want to engage in a soul-searching self-examination about Donald Trump's victory, the European "establishment" parties need a handy excuse to divert criticism -- and that excuse is Russia, a blame-shifting that has allowed nearly every recent criticism of an establishment government official to be sloughed off as "Russian disinformation."

It doesn't even matter anymore that the criticism may be based on solid fact. Even truthful information is now deemed "Russian disinformation" or Russian-inspired "fake news."

We saw that in the Canadian mainstream media's denunciations of Consortiumnews.com for running an article that pointed out that Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had misrepresented her family history to white-out her maternal grandfather's role editing a Nazi newspaper in Poland that demonized Jews and justified the Holocaust.

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Virtually every mainstream outlet in Canada rallied to Freeland's side when she dismissed our article as Russian disinformation. Only later did a few newspapers grudgingly acknowledge that our story was true and that Freeland knew it was true. Still, the attacks on us continued. We were labeled "Russian disinformationists," with no evidence needed to support the slander and no defense allowed.

Though arguably a small example, the Freeland story reflects what is happening across the Western mainstream news media. Almost every independent-minded news article that questions the establishment narratives on international affairs is dismissed as "Russian propaganda." The few politicians, academics and journalists who don't march in the establishment's parade are "Moscow stooges" or "Putin apologists."

The Russian Resistance

This anti-Russian hysteria began some years ago when Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear that Russia would no longer bow to dictates from Washington and Brussels. Russia bristled at the encroachment of NATO on its borders, rejected the neoconservative agenda of "regime change" wars in Muslim countries, and resisted the U.S.-backed putsch ousting Ukraine's elected president in 2014.


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But the anti-Russian frenzy gained unstoppable momentum with the U.S. election in 2016. The Democrats, liberals and neoconservatives were horrified at the shocking upset of their presidential choice, Hillary Clinton, by the boorish and buffoonish Donald Trump.

After this bitter defeat, the losers looked for scapegoats rather than order up a serious autopsy on how they lost to the "unelectable" Trump, i.e, by choosing a corporate candidate who was associated with neoliberal economics and neoconservative war policies. Blaming Russia became the easy excuse that could unify the various pro-Clinton camps.

So, the Obama administration -- in an unprecedented step -- sought to poison the well for its successor by having the U.S. intelligence community put out evidence-lacking allegations about Russian "meddling" in the U.S. election to elect Trump.

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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 secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at
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