The U.S. corporate media are in lock step lying and distorting the events in Ukraine. These are many little lies leading to another version of the Big Lie, as explained by Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels and used to justify U.S. aggression from Vietnam to Iraq and Libya.
The good news is that despite all the lies about Ukraine, every opinion poll shows the U.S. population wants no active involvement there.
Every news feed and articles on Ukraine here are saturated with references to “Russian dominance,” “Russian schemes” and “Russian operatives.” Those who resist the illegal Kiev coup regime might be called “forces,” “terrorists,” “separatists,” “militias” or “saboteurs,” but always with the adjective “pro-Russian” or “Russian-speaking.” They confront “Ukrainian soldiers seeking the unity of Ukraine.”
In news articles, commentators and politicians will use these terms often 10 times or more, even though all the resistance fighters are Ukrainian citizens and many have ethnic Ukrainian names. It is no accident that the media characterize workers who have lived for generations in Ukraine this way.
This ploy is accompanied by massive corporate media demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is called “scheming,” “domineering,” “secretive,” “authoritarian,” “manipulative,” “two-faced,” “overbearing,” and on down the thesaurus list of pejoratives. Pundits call Putin “solely responsible for the crisis” and demand he end it by submitting to Washington’s demands that Ukraine sign the Association Agreement and join the European Union and NATO.
They also want Putin to disarm the eastern Ukraine’s popular resistance to the fascist gangs that just burned 40 people to death in Odessa.
The Kiev coup regime — a completely illegal right-wing grouping that overturned the elected government to seize power in Ukraine — is neutrally described as the “Kiev government” or “Ukrainian government.” The corporate media call the fascist Right Sector and other neo-Nazi forces running this regime’s police and army, “government officials.”
These “officials” meet other officials in the White House, with the United Nations Security Council and with the EU to agree to austerity without the media challenging their legitimacy.
Every U.S. official who discusses the danger of Russian troop movement — within Russia — gets air time. Little to nothing is even reported of U.S. destroyers deploying in the Black Sea, NATO troop deployments eastward, jets and missile bases in eight countries encircling Russia or scheduled “U.S./NATO war games” in the region.
NATO’s expansion of military bases and interlocking U.S. dominated military commands with 28 NATO countries have been relabeled as a Russian campaign to expand its borders.
There are repeated warnings, without proof, about secret Russian agents, but little about CIA head Brennan’s visit to Kiev or the FBI agents and military advisers there.
U.S. imperialism has the world’s most powerful media, aimed during the buildup to war to saturate popular consciousness with justification for coming criminal actions. The challenge for corporate power in every war is that it must always hide with a saturation of slanders and non-facts repeated relentlessly this basic reality: Its endless wars are for profits, and the conquest and control of markets and resources.
The corporate media’s role is to set the terms of debate by using an unrelenting bias and a conscious distortion of even well-recognized facts, thus laying the ground for a fraudulent war provocation.
The Big Lie
The “Big Lie” that leads to military action is often exposed later, as with the fraudulent claim about “weapons of mass destruction” to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the wild charges of “genocide” that were used to justify a “humanitarian” bombing of Serbia in 1999 or Libya 2011.
After a “Big Lie” has achieved its aim, historians, media talking heads and politicians may later complain that they were lied to. But no one is ever held accountable for lies that led to millions of deaths.
Even those who oppose the war, in an effort to sound objective, may allow the chorus of war propaganda to infect their consciousness and terminology. The most important role for the anti-war movement, regardless of its size, is to take action and refuse to give any credibility to the lies of the ruling-class media.
Majority in U.S. oppose war
This time the lie campaign is failing. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who sold the murderous Iraq sanctions and the bombing of Yugoslavia, criticized the U.S. corporate media for this failure to sell the conflict with Russia.
On April 30, she told an audience at the militarist, neocon think tank of “foreign policy and business leaders” called the Atlantic Council, “There is not enough of an explanation to the American people as to how important it is to deal firmly with Russia’s attacks on Ukraine. … I am very troubled by today’s poll published by the Wall Street Journal,” which confirms other surveys showing that “Americans want to worry about themselves” so that fewer than one-fifth of the U.S. population want more active U.S. “engagement in Ukraine.”
A USA Today/Pew Research Center Poll released on April 28 reported that the U.S. population opposed by more than 2 to 1 the idea of sending arms or military supplies to the Ukrainian government “to bolster its defenses against Russian forces.” So even with the most twisted, inaccurate and loaded wording on this poll, the best spin the media could put on these figures was that half the population would support economic sanctions.
The slipping position of U.S. imperialism and the growing hardships faced at home do not mean less media war propaganda, but more likely expanding it to a “Big Lie” to prepare for a serious war provocation.