For my brother and colleague
Orlando Bahamondes “Caballito” (Little Horse)
Who departed a few days ago from this world,
taking with him his nobility and kindness,
but leaving us infinite samples of his conviction, his passion and his fighting spirit for a better world.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
My recent visit to Chile caused me deep dismay as I observed — as in no other country — the impact of transculturation and the uncritical acceptance of Western truth as the only way to interpret international events. Although it must be admitted that this phenomenon occurs all over the world, it has a higher incidence in Our America, considered by Washington as its backyard.
For some months now, I have reaffirmed my conviction that the great battles of the 21st century will take place not on the territory of the countries to be occupied but inside the human brain, the true “territory” to be conquered by the powerful in order to impose their truth and argument.
The United States and Europe are being defeated by China and Russia in the economic, financial, technological, political, ideological, ethical fields, and even in the military arena, as now both countries possess hypersonic missiles that the West does not have. This last point has changed the equation regarding military strategic balance.
In this context, the only remaining mechanisms for the West to maintain its planetary hegemony are: (1) its monopoly on the issuance of U.S. dollars and the maintenance of this currency as a fundamental element for global trade; and (2) the domination it exercises through its almost absolute control of the cultural-media-communication apparatus, which must also be considered. It is this latter arena where the main battles of the present and the future will take place.
Since the process of de-dollarization of the world economy has already begun, is expanding and becoming irreversible, it would seem that the “mother of all battles” will be fought in the cultural-media space. Therefore, at the present time, the form and the instruments we use to inform ourselves are of utmost importance.
Unless we take note of the reality and depth of this combat and the understanding that we must face it as such, the enemy (in this case it is invalid to call it an adversary) will maintain its dominance, because we will be unprepared to face this decisive battle. Therefore, it is a task of the highest order to construct our own truth and to believe in it.
When we uncritically transmit information issued by the enemy media, the intermediary who does so becomes a mindless propagandist of a “truth” that is usually false and in reality is mendacious and deceitful.
The last time I watched CNN
For example, in my personal case, the last time I listened to and watched CNN was on April 11, 2002, the day of the coup d’état against [then-Venezuelan] President Hugo Chávez. At that very moment I became aware that CNN was lying with total and absolute impunity. I have never watched or listened to it again. I have done the same with other media that operate at the service of the Empire or the local right wing.
Nevertheless, I do not consider myself an uninformed person, precisely because those media do not inform. On the contrary, they are the parents of post-truth and fake news.
There are those who say that it is necessary to know what the enemy thinks. I ask them, what do they do with that false information, besides becoming bitter, anguished and discouraged. Do they relay it to their 500 best friends, thus becoming the propagandists for those media?
Sometimes it is necessary to resort to the Empire’s media (I do it myself), but only to reinforce an idea that exposes their contradictions and/or aberrations.
The uncritical transmission of rumors, gossip, and anonymous opinions of authors who hide their faces, transforms into accomplices those who consciously or unconsciously reproduce the lies constructed — most of the time — in the think tanks linked to global power.
Hence the importance of disbelieving the “information” emanating from the enemy. Believing it leads to accepting the false truths it constructs. This deception has begun to be particularly fierce when facts about Russia’s military operation in Ukraine are made public. The lie is no longer subtle; on the contrary, today it is vicious, vulgar, unscrupulous and malignant.
In recent days alone, there has been an accumulation of false news transmitted by the Empire’s media. It is so grotesque that some of these media are themselves revealing the lies that others are transmitting. Let’s look at some examples.
Lies, then silence in the Empire’s media
Kiev announced with “trumpets and cymbals” that the chief admiral of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and his staff had been killed following a missile and drone attack by the Ukrainian armed forces. The news “flooded” the Western media. The next day, that admiral, Viktor Sokolov, appeared at a meeting with the Russian defense minister broadcast on television. Total silence.
In the same attack, Ukraine reported that it had severely damaged the Russian amphibious assault ship Minsk, causing 62 casualties. The problem is that even though the Minsk suffered some damage, it was undergoing repairs in dry dock that day. No ship in any country in the world is full of sailors and officers when in dry dock. Total silence.
A few weeks ago, with a carnival-like roar, the transnational “communication” media reported that a Russian missile had hit a market in a town of Donetsk. As if a magic wand had been waved, a chorus of accusations was launched against Russia for such an “inhumane action.” However, an investigation by none other than the New York Times (evidently already engaged in the U.S. election campaign) took it upon itself to prove that the projectile was Ukrainian. Total silence.
Another Russian vessel, the large landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak, was hit on Aug. 4 by a Ukrainian drone and was “seriously damaged and adrift,” according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces press service report. The ship was repaired and rejoined the Black Sea fleet on Sept. 7. It is difficult to imagine that a “seriously damaged and drifting” ship can be repaired in less than a month.
Don’t waste time searching for information about the ship. You will only find on the internet the Ukrainian action of Aug. 4. After that, the ship disappeared from the Western media. Its photo sailing and docking in the port of Sevastopol, headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, cannot be seen in any Western media. Total silence.
The missile that hit a grain factory in Poland last November and was reported to be of Russian origin was in fact Ukrainian, according to Polish experts. At the time, it was irresponsibly reported that a NATO country (Poland) had been attacked by Russia and that this could trigger World War III. In the face of this important clarification made a few days ago, the response has been total silence.
More drones shot down than were launched?
In something that has become widespread, the information services of the Ukrainian regime announce that Russian missiles and drones are shot down in their entirety during each attack. But it has reached the absurdity of reporting the downing of a greater number of drones than those that were actually launched. The last straw is that they say that the drones caused no damage, at the same time that they report deaths, injuries and destroyed buildings.
If anyone has doubts, I recommend that following Russian attacks on the war infrastructure and command centers and troop concentrations in Ukraine, they review the NASA fire maps that can be viewed for free on the Internet. You will be able to draw your own conclusions.
In short, these are just some recent manifestations of how people lie, and that’s why you have to learn to inform yourself. “Our wine is bitter, but it is ours,” said José Martí [19th-century Cuban poet, philosopher, liberation fighter and national hero]. We must learn to drink our wine, however bitter it may be.
In the same way, we must think for ourselves, become convinced of what we believe in and then construct our own truth and transmit it. Only in this way will we be able to play a leading role in this battle that will be harsh, difficult and protracted. But if we are equipped with our truth, the truth of the majority, there will be no doubt that we will come out ahead.
*A Venezuelan international relations expert, Rodriguez Gelfenstein was previously Director of the International Relations of the Presidency of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, his country’s ambassador to Nicaragua and an advisor for international politics for TeleSUR. You can follow him on X (formerly Twitter): @sergioro0701. Translation: John Catalinotto