US Media Follows White House Lead on Ukraine
One result of the current arson attack in Odessa last Friday is the inescapable truth that the US corporate-owned mainstream media and its political allies in the White House, the Congress and the State Department have participated in a deliberate, conscious campaign to keep the truth from the American public.
Their reasoning is understandable: if, in fact, the American public knew the depth of the US involvement in the coup that ousted a democratically elected President in mid February and the ensuing assortment of lies, innuendos, deceptions and flagrant violation of democratic principles, they would be even more adamantly against any military involvement in Ukraine than they already are the minimum of information they currently have.
The American people, through bitter experience, have come to look upon official assertions of ‘democracy and freedom’ with well-founded suspicion. The phrase “Weapons of mass destruction’ effectively used to justify war with Iraq may go down in history as a turning point of sorts when Americans lost complete faith in their leaders ability to be truthful – and Barack Obama is no exception.
As a candidate and even in the early days of his Administration, President Obama whose political bio touted him as a Constitutional scholar vowed to have the most transparent administration ever – but that was before the prosecution of government whistleblowers challenged the President to deliver on his promise.
After a year and a half of Administration stonewalling, the recent release by Judicial Watch of documents regarding the Benghazi attack in 2011 may have apparently directly implicated both the President and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a coordinated effort to mislead the American public. The full implications of those documents has yet to filter through the American media as another opportunity to withhold essential public information presents itself but when it does, the American public will react viscerally as a further demonstration of official high level government corruption deepening its alienation from the Federal government.
Which brings us to the truth-telling around the Ukraine crisis that has now blossomed into a civil war with a full barrage of military armaments and troops stationed at the borders of that once-obscure country, awaiting orders to initiate a once-inconceivable full-fledged war.
There is little doubt that Ukraine took a huge step toward civil war last Friday in Odessa with the gruesome inferno that took the lives of up to 60 citizens, many of whom were collecting referendum petition signatures, who were trapped inside, with all exits blocked and unable to escape as Molotov cocktails were thrown by the neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs, members of the specially trained National Guard – and even as the news since Friday coming out of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, Donetsk, Luhansk and Odessa indicate a dramatic escalation in violence , the American mainstream media has yet to offer more than a brief reference usually along the crawler at the bottom of the television screen.
With the Kiev government ominously promising the ‘liquidation or detaining’ of all east Ukraine activists, the situation in Odessa continues to escalate with reports of an influx of up to 4000 well armed right wing militants brought in to keep the lid on Odessa, a crucial port city of one million, still the mainstream media fritters with nonsensical celebrity gossip while the world moves closer to a frightening conflagration of enormous proportions.
For example, the Saturday edition of the Washington Post, ran an article quoting an on-the-ground Guardian reporter acknowledging that “police said at least 31 people were dead after pro-Kiev demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails into a building where a pro-Russia contingent was holding out” yet otherwise maintained the “pro-Kiev” ambiguous pose omitting the participation of neo Nazi elements and their role in orchestrating the ensuing slaughter.
A sporadic channel surfing search for media coverage of the Odessa assault by the Ukrainian special forces has still produced no headlines, no bulletin, no lead story across the media spectrum. The few innocuous crawlers provided no real details of why, how and who set the Trade Union building aflame and how was it that several dozen people were unable to escape – but then what passes for today’s American journalists are mostly a non-curious lot. It wasn’t until Monday evening that Katty Kay on the BBC World Report dared to utter that the ‘images coming out of Ukraine look like a full fledged war.”
Not only have liberal MSNBC stars like Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow ignored the ongoing facts of the humanitarian crisis but also Democracy Now which, to date, has offered muted coverage on Ukraine provided a minimum of comment for the violence that spiraled out of control since Friday down to two sentences – yet all three were all over the Arab Spring revolts for weeks.
Here’s my take on how the game is played: if the American people were allowed to know that Ukraine is currently in the throes of a civil war and that the US State Department coordinated the entire crisis bringing the world to the edge of a major military confrontation, it would rise up as it did last September in opposition to Obama’s proposed bombing of Syria. Instead, the left over Bush neo-cons and Obama’s neo-cons realize the necessity of censoring the news and suppressing the facts. In addition, we have already seen that news of a Ukraine civil war would send Wall Street bananas! There is no doubt that the US wants war with Russia, albeit with NATO as its proxy, but the US must manipulate Putin into invading before the US gives the green light to retaliate.
It should come as little surprise to those who have followed US media coverage of the Ukrainian situation since early February with its almost daily, savage attacks on Russia and personal antagonism towards Putin who, you may recall, saved the world from a catastrophic calamity in Syria last September – for which Barack Obama has not yet forgiven him. Obama’s cheap shot at Putin during the White House Correspondent’s Dinner last weekend was not only unprofessional but confirmed that the President is less of a role model than he believes.
It is interesting to note that neither the President nor Secretary Kerry see any contradiction in their applause for the Kiev government as representing democracy while it was a neo-Nazi coup that ousted a democratically elected President and that while the President and Kerry were ‘disgusted’ by the violence on the streets of Kiev in mid February but have no reaction to the deaths in Odessa and other east Ukraine communities. And does it make sense that a new ‘democratic’ government which needs the consent of the governed to be successful would go to war against its own citizens in order to stop an insurrection against itself? And, most importantly, exactly what grievous act did the citizens of east Ukraine commit that deserved such a ruthless vicious response – they peacefully occupied public building while insisting on a referendum to consider a more autonomous future. The US once supported a people’s right to self-determination. Now where’s the logic in the kind of thinking that goes to war without any direct provocation – seems we’ve been there before.
As the US and its cronies believe they have Putin boxed in, his back to the wall with nowhere to turn and while Putin is no doubt shrewd enough to realize the trap is set but he is also shrewd enough to search for a non-military response. One good guess is that on his upcoming trip to China with President Xi Jinping, who is also shrewd enough to understand what the US “Pivot to Asia” is all about, they will have an intense discussion on how to take down the dollar faster and more efficiently than they had previously planned.
Renee Parsons was a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives and a lobbyist on nuclear energy issues with Friends of the Earth. in 2005, she was elected to the Durango City Council and served as Councilor and Mayor. Currently, she is a member of the Treasure Coast ACLU Board.