Propaganda in the Economist

There is an article in this week’s Economist magazine about Russian military power.

The opening paragraph contains a phrase along the lines of “since Russia’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine in 2014”. No such invasion has taken place. Whoever wrote this (the article is not attributed) is insane or evil. – This is really the only question worth asking about most Western journalists these days.

This is an oft-used propaganda technique. If they repeat some fiction often enough eventually they will (so the reasoning goes presumably) convince their readers – and themselves – of its truth. It is an exercise in self-hypnosis and mass mesmerisation. As to the claim – the key point here is we are in the realms of narrative journalism. This is how 99% of the Western media work. It is not about facts and reportage but about building a tale. The tale is sometimes established with reference to a few supporting facts. But when, as in this case, there are no supporting facts – they simply repeat it over and over so it becomes true. “Russia invaded Eastern Ukraine in 2014”. This is not a statement in the realm of facts – which could be contested and/or proved. Such a statement would be – “Russia has supported the rebels in Eastern Ukraine with military advice and hardware”. Little or no evidence exists for this in the public domain – but it’s entirely possible. But the Economist is not trying to assert that fact. That (possible?) fact alone would not suffice. After all; the Western countries are supplying the regime in Kiev with military advice and hardware. So just to say that Russia is too would make it look like what it is – a civil war with major powers each backing their side. Hence we have to get to the “Russia invaded” narrative. The key point here – and this is the identical propagandist line which comes out of Kiev – is to recast the rebellion in the East of Ukraine as being the result of “Russian aggression”. This in turn masks the reality of Western actions in Ukraine – supporting a coup and signing a political agreement with an unelected government for example. The fact is that the President who was disposed, Yanukovych, was a member of the Party of Regions.  The Party of Regions was strong in Eastern Ukraine. When the elected President was chased from office by a Western backed mob it is those who supported the Party of Regions who lost out. While it is true that in the West of Ukraine there is strong desire on the part of people to belong to the EU and NATO in the East the situation is entirely reversed. Gallup polling in April 2014 showed figures of 19% and 13% respectively for EU and NATO membership. [1] Thus the people in the East of Ukraine were disenfranchised by Maidan. The purpose of the “Russia invaded” narrative is to deny this reality. A civil war, triggered by a Western backed coup, has to be repackaged as an external invasion in order to deny the awkward fact that millions of Ukrainians who live in the East were in fact disenfranchised rather than liberated by Maidan. Ironic of course that the bastions of ‘democracy’ are in fact on the side of crushing democracy.

But all this lying is entirely par of the course. There is, however,  something a little surprising in the Economist article. The article weighs up in worried tones how Russia is stronger than NATO “on its borders”. The source appears to be a Western think-tank. This shows the psychopathic thinking which these people (the Western military machine and their hangers-on in various think tanks and the media) engage in. Why should Russia not be “stronger than NATO” on its own territory? To whom would this be an offence but to people contemplating an invasion of Russia? Of course; articles like this are planted in order to drum up support for more military spending – and to legitimize this when it happens. But the underlying reality is psychopathic. It is only a psychopath who has to be stronger than his foe (anyone who is not his absolutely obedient slave) on all counts and in all theatres. Contrast with Russia’s military posture – of trying to maintain a credible defence and to maintain the balance of nuclear deterrence. The West demands – like the imperialists that they are – that Russia lie on the floor in the posture of a submissive dog licking its master’s boots. Anything else is construed as aggression. This is the basis for their delusions about “Russian aggression”. It is the same, exactly the same, as how a psychopath genuinely sees his beaten wife’s slight resistance to the next blow as a sign of terrible and unforgivable aggression against him.

Insane or lying? Perhaps they are all just psychopaths.

Notes 1. 

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer