FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Smell of Propaganda in the Morning

There are two sides bleeding and too many dead in what is hopefully the aftermath of a weekend war in the Caucasus.  And right on cue, the prime opinion space for the American mind is being occupied this Monday morning by a propagandist for perpetual war.

“Will Russia get away with it?” asks the beaming columnist for the New York Times, his smile winking at you as if no way he could be talking up death and disaster.

On one side of the world, writes the propagandist, you have “the United States and its democratic allies.”  On the other side, you’ll find “dictatorial and aggressive and fanatical regimes” who “seem happy to work together to weaken the influence of the United States and its democratic allies.”

“The United States, of course, is not without resources and allies to deal with these problems and threats,” hints the propagandist.  “But at times we seem oddly timid and uncertain.”  Which brings us around to his winking question again: “Will we let Russia get away with it?”

But what if we paraphrase a famous movie hero and remind the propagandist that aggressive is as aggressive does.  Then, we may ask, which side of the propagandist’s world last Thursday picked up its guns and blasted a path through the Caucasus Mountains to the city of Tskhinvali, killing as many local militia as possible and quite a few others who somehow got in the way?

Was it the enemies of the US and its allies who did this thing?  Was it the Russians?  Who was it who sent 30,000 refugees fleeing northward for their lives, some of whom stayed North just long enough to catch their breaths before heading South again to fight for their homeland?

Maybe the propagandist means to ask if we will let Russia get away with letting so many refugees flee into its country so quickly?  I mean, by comparison, how does that make the US immigration police look in the eyes of the world?

As it turns out, the Russians were not only watching, but waiting, says Michel Chossudovsky of the Centre for Global Research.  “The Russian response,” he writes, “was entirely predictable.”

Against the predominantly Georgian military (who were at least accompanied by Israeli advisors, and very likely other nationalities, too, although the New York Times was good enough to minimize embarrassing gossip of American involvement over the weekend) the Russians let go an onslaught of tanks, driving the Georgian coalition backward as quickly as they had arrived.

Does the propagandist mean to ask whether we will let the Russians get away with that tank attack?  It’s a curious question, because it seems to accept the premise that “the United States and its democratic allies” should certainly be allowed to get away with marching on Tskhinvali next time, only without anyone else “happy to work together” against it.

The Russians did go farther than just pushing back the Georgian coalition.  Their leaders exercised a right to “retaliation” which is a little broader than a right to “protect and defend.”  It would be better if we lived in a world where nobody was allowed to “retaliate.”  But I live in Texas, and the movement against retaliation isn’t going to start here, so maybe the propagandist thinks it should begin in Georgia?  We can see plainly that it won’t begin at the New York Times.

In the end, I wonder if the propagandist has read any Jung lately, because he seems to have a very immature conception of himself, completely unable to recognize that he has become his own shadow: “dictatorial and aggressive and fanatical.”  But in this regard he serves his social function perfectly as a perfect reflection of the mind of New York Times readers everywhere.

Well, not to be too harsh, there is some helpful reporting that slips through the teeth at the Times.  On Monday morning we can also read how that wearily retreating Georgia coalition was expressing bitter disappointment that more of the US and its allies were not there when, apparently, they had been expected to show up.

After the traumatized soldiers from the Georgia coalition get home and have a little more time to think about what they have lost forever, they may wish to take up the question of the propagandist, who knows?  Make it their life’s work, for pay.  Or they may do what many young men have done among the US and its allies, that is, start a local chapter of veterans against war.

GREG MOSES is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. He is a contributor to Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK Press. He can be reached at: gmosesx@gmail.com

 

Your Ad Here
 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

April 26, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
As Trump Berates Iran, His Options are Limited
Daniel Warner
From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes
Simone Chun – Kevin Martin
Diplomacy in Korea and the Hope It Inspires
George Wuerthner
The Attack on Wilderness From Environmentalists
CJ Hopkins
The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists
Richard Schuberth
“MeToo” and the Liberation of Sex
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Sacred Assemblies in Baghdad
Dean Baker
Exonerating Bad Economic Policy for Trump’s Win
Vern Loomis
The 17 Gun Salute
Gary Leupp
What It Means When the U.S. President Conspicuously and Publicly Removes a Speck of Dandruff from the French President’s Lapel
Robby Sherwin
The Hat
April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail