Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Russia-gate beyond absurd

The Washington Post is busily pushing the latest version of Russia-gate. This time around the story is that Russia stole the election for Donald Trump by placing a $100,000 of ads on Facebook. The ads were placed from 2015 to 2017 (ie, some were after the election). The ads very not pro-Trump or anti-Clinton, but were about political issues (unidentified). The ads were placed by suspected Russians (no evidence provided), who are assumed to have Kremlin links. If this were not front page coverage, one would assume it is satire. But the Washington Post is being utterly serious. Apparently, the smart journalists there think Putin is so smart, he can rig the US presidential election by spending a mere hundred thousand dollars on Facebook, a platform that has over twenty billion dollars of revenue a year. Serious journalism in the so called mainstream media is now officially dead. It has been killed by Russophobia, rabid never-Trumpism, a slavish commitment to Washington's propaganda.

The irony here is clearly revealed by a close, critical reading of the Washington Post story, for it shows that what actually happened was that Facebook executives were coerced by senior Democrat politicians to come up with something to support the Democratic Party Russia did it nonsense, eventually caved under the pressure, and produced another evidence free Russia did it story. It is the Washington Post (and the rest of the corporate media) that is guilty of producing misinformation, disinformation and fake news, whilst they hysterical attack others. When an individual does this, it is called projection; when societies do it, it is preparation for war.

We have seen this over and over. Before the US war on Vietnam, the corporate media ran with Washington's lying propaganda. The same happened with the former Yugoslavia. The same happened with Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria. The same is happening with North Korea. Nowadays, very few people will try to defend the lies told about Vietnam (nothwithstanding PBS and Hollywood), but very few people seem to be aware of the lies currently being told. Apparently, most Americans think it is North Korea that is threatening the US, rather than the US that is threatening North Korea. The same phenomenon occurred with Iraq: the vast majority of Americans believed the media lies of 2002/3 and only belatedly (when it was far too late) recognised that they had been sold a pig in a poke.

Of course, the liars have many advantages. They are rich and powerful. They drape themselves in the flag of patriotism. They denounce anyone who asks for evidence as traitors and dupes, as propagandists for foreign enemies, as supporters of Hitler. And they have the full support of the corporate media. In the past, this latter was enough. Only the other day, Samantha Power waxed nostalgic for the days when the "gatekeepers" who control the corporate media could decide what information the public had access to and what was suppressed. Those days are gone. The Internet has seen to that. And that is why the mainstream politicians and media are so desparately denouncing anyone who dissents: like drowning men they are clinging on to the sinking ship for dear life. But the sinking of that ship is inevitable, short of censorship of the kind known only to totalitarian dictatorships.

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