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The Plot to Scapegoat Russia

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING… again. It seems that al-Qaeda, ISIS, North Koreans, Mexican ‘bad hombres,’ and various other bogeymen were insufficient to the task of terrifying Americans. So now the US war machine—that vast complex of weapons manufacturers, Wall Street speculators, saber-rattling Washington politicians, armchair generals, and the media industry that thrives on boom and bang (or the ‘beautiful pictures of our fearsome armaments’ in the unforgettable words of MSNBC’s Brian Williams) — has revived the tried and true Red Scare. Day after day, night after night, the US citizenry is bombarded with scare stories about the evil machinations of Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin henchmen. How they stole our democracy and are scheming to conquer the entire NATO alliance. How they are building a military machine and nuclear arsenal that threaten to eclipse our own. How they are subverting the global free press with its low-ratings Russia Today network and army of hackers and trolls. How they are blocking peace in the Middle East with their machinations in Syria.

This massive anti-Russian propaganda campaign is one of the biggest fake news operations in US history. And we’ve had some colossal ones, dating back to the days of the Spanish American War, when newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst instructed artist Frederic Remington to help him fabricate a clash of forces that did not exist: ‘You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.’

Ever since World War I, war has been America’s lucrative ‘racket,’ in the mordant observation of Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, the most decorated marine of his day. The country’s economic engine runs on blood and oil. Without the constant specter of a foreign enemy, there is no American prosperity. President Donald Trump couldn’t find the money to rebuild our collapsing infrastructure, but he could burn through $93 million to hurl fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield to send a message that he was no Putin puppet.

'Trump promised to ease growing East-West tensions by finding common ground with Moscow. But the US national security state — and its numerous media assets — soon convinced him of the folly of peace. Putin is doomed to become the baddest hombre in the Trump shooting gallery.

I have no desire to live or work in Putin’s Russia. Independent journalists and dissident leaders are constantly at risk there. But while the Kremlin casts a shadow over Russia’s own freedom and democracy, its ability to project power and influence abroad is wildly overstated by the US war lobby. Russia’s economy has shrunk so much that its GDP is roughly that of Spain. The US military budget is bigger than that of the next seven countries combined, while Russia spends less than Saudi Arabia on defense.

Russia’s intervention in the sovereign affairs of other nations pales in comparison to the massive intrusions of the US security juggernaut. Over the past century, the US military and the CIA have overthrown democratically elected governments in Guatemala, Iran, Congo, Chile, and Indonesia; assassinated, jailed, or exiled leaders in these and other countries; subverted governments and elections in even allied countries like France and Italy; and […]  and Brazil. When US covert operations prove unable to impose our will on foreign affairs, Washington puts boots on the ground, invading and occupying nations from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Accusations of Russian interference from a country that routinely big-foots the rest of the world surely rank as some of the biggest displays of chutzpah in history.
Despite its diminished stature in recent years, Russia (along with China) is the only country capable of even marginally standing in the way of Washington’s vast imperial ventures. Therefore, it must be turned into a pariah state by the dependable media servants of the US security complex. It’s the so-called liberal media — including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC—that is taking the lead in demonizing Russia, just as it did during the first Cold War when CIA spymasters like Allen Dulles wined and dined the Washington press corps and fed them their headlines and talking points.

The deep state crowed when Trump abandoned his flirtation with Putin. ‘This was inevitable,’ opined Philip H. Gordon, a former NSC (National Security Council. svh) apparatchik now embedded at the Council on Foreign Relations, a national security bastion since the days of Dulles. ‘Trump’s early let’s-be-friends initiative was incompatible with our interests, and you knew it would end in tears.’ Whose interests was Gordon referring to? Certainly not the interests of the American people, who are sick and tired of endless war and foreign intrigue and yearn for a leader who will truly put their well-beings first.

Unlike our war-obsessed media, human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik does understand that peace and diplomacy are in the best interests of the American and Russian peoples. His book is an urgently needed counterassault against the propaganda forces that are trying to push us over a precipice that is too terrifying to even contemplate. It’s time for all of us to speak truth to power before it’s too late.

— David Talbot
April 2017

Uittreksel van: Kovalik Dan. 'The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin.’ iBooks. 


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