After Setting ‘The Science,’ Corporate Press Seeks to Set ‘The History’ on Ukraine

by | Mar 2, 2022

After Setting ‘The Science,’ Corporate Press Seeks to Set ‘The History’ on Ukraine

by | Mar 2, 2022

isupportit

The mainstream narrative has shifted. For the past two years, all respectable humans socially distanced, masked up and ‘got vaxxed and boosted.’ However, White House Covid czar Anthony Fauci is slowly being exposed as a false prophet. Lockdowns provided little protection against Covid but threw tens of millions into extreme poverty, and Biden’s first year in office produced similar results as Trump’s last – despite the vaccines being increasingly pushed on Americans under his watch.

As the Covid regime ruptures under the tires of big rig truckers, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has offered a perfect distraction, an opportunity to redirect Americans’ fears and hatred elsewhere. After years of open contempt for the ‘vaccine-hesitant’ and parents unwilling to mask their children outdoors, a fresh target for public opprobrium has emerged in the form of Putin, who – didn’t you hear? – is the ‘New Hitler’ with monomaniacal visions of conquest for all of Europe.

With origins in the Cold War, Americans’ distrust for everything Russia has been steadily inflamed over the past decade by a deluge of hostile media coverage, ramped into overdrive by Moscow’s military action last week. Pent-up rage toward ‘anti-vaxxers’ and ‘Covid deniers,’ then, has been easily pivoted to those challenging the ‘official’ line on Russia, with mainstream political figures from Mitt Romney to Hillary Clinton likening such dissent to treason.

The media is abandoning ‘The Science of Covid’ for ‘The History of Russian Aggression’ and regaling readers and viewers with a highly selective accounting of events. Putin is said to be the black hat who invades other countries at will, backs strongmen dictators who abuse their own people and undermines democracies worldwide with an army of hackers, bots and trolls. 

Much like the Covid regime, the New Cold Warriors are presenting half-truths and outright lies to convince Americans that Russia is their enemy, omitting many salient facts revealing Washington’s role in the current crisis. However, the events now unfolding were a predictable consequence of American foreign policy since the end of the last Cold War – vital context which Western leaders and corporate media outlets refuse to acknowledge.

Putin’s Rap Sheet

In 2008, George Bush announced that Ukraine and Georgia would be placed on the path to NATO membership, following the admission of 10 other Eastern European states in the wake of the fall of the USSR. Emboldened by the prospect of entering the world’s most powerful alliance, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili attempted to reclaim two breakaway regions under the protection of Russian peacekeepers, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 

Putin responded by recognizing the separatist regions as independent states, sending in additional troops to enforce his new dictate. Saakashvili turned to what he believed to be his new NATO partners and found they could not intervene, understanding the potentially catastrophic consequences of such a decision. Georgia lost the war, but the hawks gained an enemy. 

In 2012, President Obama mocked the Republican presidential nominee for his Cold War notion that Russia posed the greatest threat to the US. But just two years later, his administration – led by Joe Biden, Victoria Nuland and Geoffty Paytt, and assisted by John McCain in the GOP – facilitated a coup in Ukraine in order to sever the country from Russian influence. In doing so, Washington empowered far-right Ukrainian nationalists – including neo-Nazis – to violently oust the democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych. 

It was soon clear that extremist elements like the Svoboda Party and the Right Sector, backed by Nazi militias including the Azov Battalion, wielded real influence in the new government, pushing an effort to remove Russian as an official language and committing atrocities against ethnic Russians following the coup. Azov was later integrated into the country’s armed forces, while militant nationalist leaders like Andriy Parubiy wound up serving in the new post-coup state.

Having heavily supported the election of Yanukovych, Ukraine’s Russian minority population sought independence from the government in Kiev after his overthrow. The Crimean peninsula was bloodlessly taken over by Russian soldiers and annexed. Soon after, the overwhelming majority ethnic Russian region voted in favor of the move and accepted entrance into the Russian Federation. The hawks told the American people that Putin had committed a sin not seen since the days of the Third Reich: a country had expanded its borders in Europe by conquest. 

Following the debacle in Ukraine, Putin thwarted Washington’s regime change effort in Syria – twice – first, by facilitating the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Then, in 2015, Russia deployed forces to prevent the fall of Bashar al-Assad’s government to hordes of US-backed jihadist militants. While the hawks lost their opportunity to take out Assad, they scored another propaganda point against Putin, who was condemned for backing a ‘dictator who kills his own people.’ 

More importantly, he had humiliated both parties in the imperial city. 

However, these were foreign wars. It would take the 2016 election to truly persuade Americans of Putin’s evil machinations, with a years-long narrative alleging reality show host and real estate magnate Donald Trump was installed into power through an elaborate Kremlin plot. 

An Attack on Our Democracy?

In 2016, the Hillary Clinton campaign unrolled ‘Russiagate’ in a bid to overturn, or at least explain away, her election loss. What followed was an endless stream of attention-grabbing headlines alleging the president-elect – and later sitting president – was a “puppet” of Vladimir Putin. While in total, the Russiagaters netted more retractions than genuine ‘bombshells,’ it didn’t matter. The story refused to die.

The mainstream networks often made their corrections silently, while cable networks gave little airtime to any story casting doubt on Trump’s supposed subservient relationship with Putin. Big Tech firms hired official ‘fact-checkers’ to promote the official Russiagate narrative, labeling inconvenient truths as ‘disinformation’ and sending them down the memory hole. 

Even after the lackluster Mueller report, the admission of the DNC’s own cyber security outfit that it had no clear proof of a Russian hack, and Kevin Clinesmith’s guilty plea showing the FBI lied to spy on the Trump campaign, many Americans still believe that Russia single-handedly overturned the 2016 election. The hawks’ narrative evolved: Putin was no longer a threat ‘over there,’ but now had a firm foothold in the American Homeland. 

The History was written, and, in comic book fashion, Putin was the villain. He conquered territory by force, aided dictators abroad and even dared to meddle in America’s sacred democratic system. 

Left out of the official story, however, was what Washington had been doing during its so-called “unipolar moment.” In that supposedly quiet time, NATO expanded from 14 to 30 countries, including several former Soviet Republics, putting the powerful military alliance right on Russia’s doorstep. The US placed strategic missile launchers – read: can nuke your capital city – into Eastern Europe, while NATO routinely carried out war games that came within miles of Russia’s airspace, waters and borders. All of this explicitly contradicted repeated assurances to Moscow that the bloc would not move “one inch” eastward following the fall of the USSR.

Thus, the stage was set for a New Cold War.

Doubling Down

When Joe Biden arrived in the Oval Office, he accelerated Trump’s program to arm Kiev with hundreds of millions in “lethal aid” – including for its National Guard and Nazi-infested Azov unit. The new Washington policy treated Ukraine as a de facto ally, effectively awarding it NATO membership in all but name despite the reluctance of other leading members like Germany and France.

Russia had long made clear that bringing Ukraine into NATO crossed a critical red line. While the foreign policy establishment admits that official membership for Ukraine was always a longshot, Biden officials have consistently pledged to “defend Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty” while arming it to the teeth as it waged war on Russian-speakers in the Donbass. 

War-weary Americans are now ready to sacrifice to take on the monster in Moscow as its troops march on the Ukrainian capital. However, any armed intervention will not save the people of Ukraine – and is liable to do the opposite – while the rest of the NATO alliance faces no threat from Russia’s incursion. Like with all wars, military involvement will enrich only the most well-connected to the imperial state, benefiting those who are most responsible for the current crisis.  

Like with Covid, many believe they can ‘trust the Science’ relayed to them by respectable media figures. Yet the same pundits who confidently endorsed economy-ruining lockdowns and poorly performing vaccines are now treating viewers to equally dubious history lessons on ‘Russian Aggression’ and Putin’s malign actions over the last decade.

It appears to be working, as Russian vodka faces bans and boycotts around the world while social media feeds are teeming with yellow and blue flags and vocal condemnations of Putin the Terrible. Those dissenting to the Official History are regularly dismissed as Kremlin agents, useful idiots or even outright traitors. Meanwhile, Americans sit by as typically censor-happy Big Tech firms allow open praise for Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias, but suppress content from Russian state media. Once again, only the official narrative will be tolerated.

But while ‘The Science’ was used by elites to seize power over virtually every aspect of American life throughout the pandemic, ‘The History’ in Russia’s case may be far more dangerous, helping to pave the way to global conflict and, in the worst-case scenario, civilization-ending nuclear war. 

About Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com and news editor of the Libertarian Institute. Will Porter is the assistant news editor of the Libertarian Institute and a staff writer and editor at RT. Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter host Conflicts of Interest along with Connor Freeman.

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