by Stephen Lendman
It's intense. It rages daily. It's unprecedented. It exceeds the worst of Cold War vitriol. Malicious misinformation persists.
Truth is systematically buried. It's turned on its head. Lies, damn lies and vicious agitprop substitute.
Obama officials substitute Russia bashing for responsible diplomacy. On March 14, John Kerry lied claiming:
"...(W)e remain deeply concerned about the large deployments of Russian forces in Crimea and along the eastern border with Russia, as well as the continuing provocations and some of the hooliganism of young people who've been attracted to cross the border and come into the east, as well as some of those who've lived there."
He threatened Sergei Lavrov. Obama "made it clear there will be consequences if Russia does not find a way to change course," he said.
"(O)bviously that will beg an even greater (Washington) response," he added. "(T)here will be costs."
On March 16, Russia's Foreign Ministry said America "refuse(s) to listen to the voice of reason."
"Unfortunately, it is not stability in the country or the security and well-being of its citizens that Washington cares about."
"It keeps using Cold War categories, which were seemed bygone, in an attempt to impose its own vision of the political system in Ukraine."
"We hope that the UN member states that have so far demonstrated a biased and confrontational approach in connection with the situation in Ukraine, including during the discussion of this matter in the UN Security Council, will find the strength to embark on the path of constructive cooperation in the interests of long-term settlement of the situation and ensuring the full range of interests of Ukrainian citizens, including the population of eastern and southeastern regions of the country."
Washington's draft resolution condemning Crimea's legitimate referendum on joining Russia proves America deplores reason, the ministry added.
Russia responsibly vetoed it. China abstained. Other Council members include America, Britain, France, Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Republic of Korea and Rwanda.
They irresponsibly voted "yes" in lockstep. They supported wrong over right. China usually backs Russia on major geopolitical issues. It ducked this one.
Its UN envoy Liu Jieyi said:
"China holds an objective and fair position on the Ukraine issue."
"The vote on the draft resolution by the Security Council at this juncture will only result in confrontation and further complicate the situation, which is not in conformity with the common interest of both the people of the Ukraine and those of the international community."
He called for resolving Ukraine's crisis diplomatically. He urged all parties to refrain from escalating things.
Obama's UN envoy Samantha Power is ideologically over-the-top. She calls gencidal imperial interventions stunning successes.
She defends the indefensible. She supports ravaging and destroying one country after another.
She bashed Russia's veto. She called doing so "a sad and remarkable moment."
She ludicrously said Security Council members "me(t) on Ukraine because it is the job of this body to stand up for peace and to defend those in danger."
No nation deplores peace more than America. None cause more harm to more people. None more gravely threaten humanity. Imperial priorities alone matter. Don't expect Power to explain.
Nor the scoundrel media amen chorus. Vicious Russia bashing disgraces them. More on them below.
US irresponsible journalism is longstanding. It's sensationalist. Misinformation masquerades as truth.
Readers and viewers are systematically lied to. Everything they most need to know is suppressed. It's worse than ever now.
Frank Luther Mott (1886 - 1964) was an American historian/journalist. In 1941, (before television) he explained how media scoundrels lie for state and corporate interests.
Scare headlines are featured. One lie after another follows. Inflammatory or fake photos and images are used.
So are deceptive interviews. They feature paid-for-media "experts." Retired generals and admirals are enlisted. Right-wing think tank analysts are used. Opposing views are systematically shut out.
Big Lies launch wars. They're weapons of mass deception. They work when repeated ad nauseam.
William Randolph Hearst hyped the Big Lie. "Remember the Maine." A huge explosion sunk it. An internal coal bunker explosion was responsible.
It didn't matter. The Spanish-American War followed. Hearst told his Havana illustrator: "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."
Big Lies work this way. They're an American tradition. They scream daily against Russia. They manipulate public opinion. They manufacture consent.
Washington risks open conflict with Moscow. The worst of all possible outcomes could follow.
The New York Times is the closest thing to an official US ministry of propaganda and misinformation.
It's featured daily. It rages against Russia. On March 15, it headlined "Russia Seizes Gas Plant Near Crimea border, Ukraine Says."
It lied saying "(H)elicopter-borne Russian forces made a provocative incursion just outside the peninsula's regional border to seize a natural gas terminal, while American and European officials prepared sanctions to impose on Moscow as early as Monday."
It claimed a "military operation by at least 80 troops landing on a slender sand bar just across from Crimea's northeast border..."
It called doing so "part of a broader effort to strengthen control over the peninsula before" Sunday's referendum vote.
It falsely accused Moscow of taking over Crimea. It called its action "defiant." More lies followed.
"Russian forces made a show of added strength (in) Simferopol," it said. It claimed "armed personnel carriers in at least two locations (and) two large troop carriers outside election commission headquarters."
Days earlier, Ukraine's illegitimate putschist prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk lied. He claimed Russian troops and tanks invaded Crimea.
Deceptive video footage showed columns of in-motion Russian tanks. They were nowhere near Crimea. They were well inside Russia.
They were involved in internal military exercises. Yatsenyuk didn't explain. Nor media scoundrels.
On March 16, RT International headlined "Crimean military thwarts sabotage of gas plant feeding peninsula."
So-called Russian forces were Crimean self-defense ones. They acted responsibly. Crimean gas was halted near a Strelkovaya distribution center.
Crimea's Cabinet of Ministers said their self-defense forces "encountered a group of at least 20 armed men in camouflage."
They "were planting explosives at the facility in order to knock it out of action completely."
According to Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksenov, the Autonomous Republic's self-defense forces confronted them.
They called themselves members of Ukraine's Border Troops. They left without explanation. Sabotage was avoided. Gas supply was restored.
The Times lied claiming Russian forces seized a gas plant near Crimea's border. It ignored Kiev's foiled sabotage scheme.
No Russian takeover of Crimea occurred. No added Russian show of force in Simferopol. Don't expect Times editors to explain. Russia bashing take precedence.
Neocon Washington Post editors rage against Russia daily. An irresponsible headlined accused Crimea of "poll rigging" and "intimidation."
Unnamed Tatars were cited claiming voter cards sent to "hundreds of nonexistent people at addresses in the capital and that bus loads of Russian citizens and soldiers were being sent into Crimea with Ukrainian passports to vote for joining Russia."
No evidence whatever suggests it. Plenty suggests otherwise. Crimean authorities went all-out to assure a free, fair, open process. They succeeded admirably. Don't expect WaPo editors to explain.
On March 15, they headlined "US, EU must stay the course on Russian sanctions over Ukraine."
They called Sunday's legitimate referendum "orchestrated." They accused Putin of "aggression."
He may even invade eastern Ukraine, they claimed. They lied about Russian troops seizing a gas plant near Crimea's border.
They want Putin "punish(ed)." They want Russia weakened. They want more than asset freezes and visa denials.
They want "massive damage" on Russia's economy. They want political damage. They want Moscow expelled from G-8 participation.
They want it prevented from joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
They want stiff economic sanctions. They want Russia's banking system targeted. "The most important...Western response will be staying power," they said.
They urge preparations to respond to "more (Putin) aggression." They barely stopped short of endorsing open conflict. Maybe a future editorial will do so.
Wall Street Journal editors bash Putin relentlessly. On March 13, they headlined "Putin Acts, the West Talks."
They called him "a man of action who hasn't seen anything worth stopping his assault on Ukraine."
They lied claiming "Russia invaded Crimea." Putin "hit the gas pedal on his takeover..." They called Crimea's legitimate government "local (Kremlin) toughs."
They "took power by force," they said. They called Crimea's legitimate referendum a "sham" one. They called Putin a "modern czar."
They lied claiming "20,000 Russian soldiers (in Crimea) as observers."
You can't make this stuff up. The truth is polar opposite. Previous articles explained. Putin acts responsibly. He wants Ukraine's crisis resolved diplomatically.
He deplores violence. He didn't invade Crimea. Claims otherwise are false. They're manufactured out of whole cloth. They don't pass the smell test.
It doesn't stop them from proliferating. Journal editors rail irresponsibly. They accused Putin of the "first naked land grab in Europe since World War II."
Nothing of the sort occurred. Nor does Putin intend it in Crimea or anywhere on the continent.
Journal editors ignored Washington-led NATO's war on Yugoslavia. Doing so destroyed a sovereign state. It's air-brushed from history. Aggressive wars masquerade as humanitarian intervention.
Journal editors want Putin challenged aggressively. Make Russia's economy scream, they urge. Target it through "international court" actions.
They support Kiev putschists. They need "a legal strategy to file claims for billions of dollars in state and private property lost to Russia's (nonexistent) occupation."
"...Mr. Putin only understands the language of action." Expect daily Putin bashing to continue. Expect Big Lies drowning out truth.
Open conflict may follow. WR Hearst was right. Modern day media scoundrels may "furnish war." Mind manipulation works this way.
A Final Comment
On Sunday, Crimean voting went smoothly. Observers reported incredibly high turnout. Enrique Ravello came from Spain.
He's a Catalonian parliamentarian. On November 9, Catalonia plans its own independence referendum. Madrid wants it prevented. Catalonians plan holding it anyway, he said.
"It looks like there is more freedom in Crimea than in Catalonia," he stressed. "The example of Crimea will inspire the Catalonians who want to freely express their will."
He "visited three polling stations," he said. Voting proceeded "quite normally." No one pressured anyone, he added.
"People are feeling themselves quite free. They have all the necessary conditions to freely express their will."
Reports about Russian troops on the ground are false, he said. "I didn't see even a single Russian serviceman."
According to Referendum Commission chairman Mikhail Malyshev, all 1,205 polling stations opened normally.
Chernomorsky district weather problems disrupting power were corrected. Polls opened at 8AM. They stayed open until 8PM.
Voting went smoothly. Turnout was high. By midday, over 44% of Crimean residents voted. Over 50% in Sevastopol.
After polls closed, the Crimean News Agency estimated over 80% turnout. Exit polls showed 93% of Crimeans favor joining Russia.
Russians comprise about 60% of Crimea's population, Ukrainians around 25% and Tatars 12%.
Results show Crimeans overwhelmingly reject Kiev putschists. Russians, Ukrainians and Tatars agree. Claims otherwise are false.
Mateus Piskorski is a Polish parliamentarian observer. "We are already witnessing quite a high turnout in areas inhabited by Crimean Tatars," he said earlier.
He called their participation "very important." Anti-referendum Tatar leaders urged boycotting the vote.
Ewald Stadler is a European parliamentarian. "I haven't witnessed a single violation during the referendum," he said.
"I haven't seen anything even resembling pressure. People themselves want to have their say."
Thousands of Crimean self-defense forces and police were deployed. Doing so was done to assure things went smoothly.
Kiev putschist elements showed up in Simferopol. They posed as policemen. They tried disrupting things.
They were caught. They were detained. Their scheme was foiled. Similar tactics failed in Saky. It's in western Crimea.
Neo-Nazi Right Sector extremists made multiple attempts to enter Crimea. They planned anti-referendum disruptions.
They shouted Nazi slogans. They urged Crimeans not to vote. Their efforts failed. On Monday, results may be known. A follow-up article will discuss them.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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