April 23, 2014
Guest blogpost by Michael T Bucci, writer and former public relations executive.
The Ukraine imbroglio has left this writer and others swimming against two mutually opposing perpetual tides preempting objectivity.
Firstly, war fever has been induced in the U.S. population as it has in the Russian people, this is a given. Secondly, to geopolitical analysts there are no non-aligned sources of news to be found in the West. One either believes Mr. Obama or one believes Mr. Putin and the web will provide every rationale needed to support either side, as well as provide a smorgasbord of conspiracy theories that support one or the other side, but not both sides.
For example, who comprised the snipers who shot both police and protestors in Kiev? Russia says they were U.S. mercenaries (e.g., Blackwater) and the U.S. press says they were Russian special forces. Did Russia “invade” Crimea to gain it? Yes, says the U.S. No, says Vladimir Putin, the Crimeans elected to join the Russian Federation as those in southeastern Ukraine today wish to do. Do Maidan leaders now in power in the new Ukraine government have neo-fascist, neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic backgrounds? Mum is the word in the American and European press. . . let’s move on to the next question… Are John Kerry, President Obama, Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov leaving facts out of the equation that need to be known by “informed electorates” in both countries? No, say news editors in both locales. Is there any one U.S., Western or Russian mainstream news organ that is reporting this ongoing story from sources additional to “fact sheets” provided by the State Department, Brussels or the Kremlin? Mum. In a sea of accusations between parties, has any one news reporter asked authorities in Washington or in Moscow to show proof of their many claims? Mum. Are the American, European and Russian people that authoritarian and gullible to endorse war on the basis of what media is telling them? Has anyone explained that the struggle with Moscow is about gaining control of Eurasian natural resources found on Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “Grand Chessboard” in his “Great Game”? Has anyone sorted fact from fiction?
If an issue was ever so “black and white”; if a story was reported with ever so little balance and objectivity; if war fever was ever so quickly induced, it is in the matter of the current U.S. vs. Russia crisis.
I began a recent article for a British publication about US-Russia propaganda telling the story of buying a Telefunken short-wave radio from money I earned as a “newspaper boy” at age twelve in 1959. How shocked and amazed I was to discover how many nightly news items reported by Huntley-Brinkley on NBC weren’t reported in quite the same way, with quite the same emphasis or in similar detail when reported by BBC, Radio Canada, Deutsche Welle or Hilversum, Holland. This was in 1959. Furthermore, these same news items were in fact omitted altogether, supplemented by others or contradicted entirely when reported by Radio Moscow or Radio Havana Cuba. What’s going on here? I asked myself. Who is telling truth and who is lying? My exposure to propaganda began then and brings me to today where propaganda has been fine-tuned to such a degree that I’ve convinced myself it has become an instrument of psychotronic conditioning. If true, it is lethal to a free people in an open democracy.
The Ukraine imbroglio and subsequent revival of cold war with Russia has certainly created unreported divisions of opinion in some European sectors (not so much in America though). I am now inclined to view both sides of this argument with much suspicion and alarm. However, in my biased opinion, the West’s endorsement of a violent coup against a democratically elected leader is a red flag. If it is true that American-EU supported Maidan leaders who now populate the Ukraine government have backgrounds in right-wing extremism, neo-Nazism, neo-fascism and anti-Semitism, a moral low-point for Western democracy has been breached and this alone can set a precedent for other right-wing extremist factions throughout Europe, the U.K. and U.S. to gain legitimacy and vie for power.
Peace and truth are the first casualties of war.
I have come to consider the Russia spin no more inherently valid than the American spin. Both are “spins” and very self-serving ones. Meanwhile, I do not live in Ukraine and did not spend time in Russia to know Russian political culture on ground level.
There are indisputable facts: the questionable background politics of Maiden leaders; a violent coup; snipers; a current military build-up by Russia and NATO; an ongoing intense propaganda war. I ask myself: Who is gaining by all this and who is losing? I don’t find any winners outside of the military-industrial interests on both ends.
The West and Russia are now in pre-war mode and their peoples were carefully engineered through media to accept a sudden virtual break in international relations; be induced with war fever; and be inculcated with the usual Mantras that have justified all wars: a belief that division and conflict and war are the inevitable solutions to resolve differences of national interest that reach critical mass. I maintain these differences can be resolved peacefully, but national leaders prefer they be resolved competitively and violently. The people have little choice but to honor the course set by governments.
We cannot afford this conflict.
Such a conflict carries in it the potential for military confrontation between two nuclear arsenals which can be triggered either by irrational intent or by accident. Both sides need to withdraw from fanning flames that could engulf the whole planet. It is insanity to do otherwise.
The big picture, and the one this planet must evolve towards, is one that includes the entire globe and ALL humanity. Though it is reaching its zenith, the old paradigm of supreme domination by any one nation or group of nations has spent itself. If an evolution – a rise in consciousness – does not come about at the present time at this stage in world history our base, animalistic drives will take life on this planet to an inevitable conclusion.
Having lived through the cold war of 1950’s, my late wife Rebecca was very fearful of nuclear weapons and of nuclear reactors. In a bittersweet remark, I told her that should all life on this planet be extinguished through nuclear war, the day would eventually come – in a far distant future – when the tip of a daisy would miraculously appear through the dead, charred rubble of Planet Earth and aspire to reach the sun. From that point forward, I assured her, life on this planet would begin anew.
After you watch the evening news or network news channels; read provocative editorials or blogs; listen to the President, Secretary of State, Foreign Ministers, members of Congresses, Parliaments and State Duma; receive bitter herbs offered by partisan pundits who inspire anger, hate, conflict, vengeance and war, remember the dead, charred rubble of Planet Earth.
With or without us, life on this planet will not be forever extinguished. A daisy will someday grow. The daisy, however, would prefer to reach up toward the sun on this day, and on every day hereafter.
And would wish us to reach up too, along with it, toward the sun.
It’s our choice. It is always our choice!Blogactiv Team