Privatized Propaganda: Ukraine & The Western Press

One thing is for certain, the West has won the public relations battle over Ukraine. The U.S. and the European political establishments have managed to create a narrative which attributes the Ukrainian war to the machinations of an evil man embodied in the form of Vladimir Putin. This one man, with his lust for power and empire, has managed to throw the whole world into chaos, so goes the western political and press establishments.

The press goes along with this narrative either because they didn’t do their homework, have short memories, lack insight, or they simply play to the tune of the popular mind in  a manner which maximizes profits.  The press, however, along with the political establishment, have shaped popular opinion on Ukraine so it must be the press did not do their homework, at least not during the early stages of the crisis when popular opinion was being formed. At the end of this period, the  path towards profits had been determined–go along with the narrative. Perhaps the  third option of the Putin narrative is the press is so culturally ingrained with the political establishment that they are unable to distinguish a set of thoughts separate from the political class they are designed to investigate.

It is difficult to determine whether the expression of opinion by the political and press establishments is authentic opinion based on a limited set of knowledge, or if we are being manipulated into political and profitable opportunities–short term as these political and profit  opportunities might be. Probably some of both exist.

We are being led into war. It is difficult to imagine economic gains in a world engaged in major war. Certainly some segments of the business class stand to make astronomical  profits, but most people will suffer and the profits are risky. Perhaps the West believes it could gather a quick victory over Russia if engaged in war with Russia. A Russian Federation break-up would enable private western capital access to the vast natural resources in the current Russian territory; it would also enable the West to more effectively challenge the rising threat of China: two profitable and political opportunities–I hate to be so cynical. This is, however, one possible scenario and it likely plays out in the heads of some within the ruling establishment. 

The commonly put forth narrative that the Ukrainian war is due to one crazed madman belies 23 years of NATO expansion towards Russia which the Russians find highly threatening and which the Russians have been trying to explain to the West for over thirty years. Furthermore, the U.S. and NATO have been engaged in wars in Russia’s neighborhood beginning with the NATO bombings of Serbia during  1999,  the U.S. led invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, the NATO bombing of Libya in 2011, and U.S. intervention in Syria. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in these wars, probably more than a million dead overall,  millions are in refugee status, millions have suffered physical, psychological, and spiritual damage which might never heal. Conditions are so bad in Libya  that there is an active slave trade in that significantly destroyed nation.  All of these events in Russia’s neighborhood must make the Russians wonder if they are next. Certainly Russia’s current sin–and sin it is, pales in comparison to the sins of the West during the past 27 years. The Russians, according to the mainstream media,  led by an evil madman, are the sole guilty party in the Ukrainian crisis. This, despite western aggression which exceeds the current horrendous acts of the Russian state.

The Western establishments may have won the public relations battle, but the rest of us, and the rest of the world, will pay the price.