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Post-Crimean Referendum Propaganda

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2014 at 12:51 AM


Post-Crimean Referendum Propaganda

by Stephen Lendman

Previous articles discussed intense anti-Russian propaganda. It raged up to Sunday's referendum vote. On Monday, it continued.

The New York Times headlined "Global Crises Put Obama's Strategy of Caution to the Test," saying:

"(W)ith Russia poised to annex Crimea after Sunday's referendum, with a mounting threat to the rest of Ukraine and with the carnage in Syria accelerating, Mr. Obama's strategy is now under greater stress than at any time in his presidency."

"Mr. Obama's strategy" is his own making. He's waging multiple direct and proxy wars. proxy war on Syria. He replaced numerous independent governments with subservient Western ones.

Ukraine is his latest imperial trophy. A previous article said if he can keep it. The battle for Ukraine's soul didn't end. It continues. It just began. Perhaps years will pass to resolve it.

Obama's Iranian intentions are uncertain. Nuclear talks continue without resolution. Rapprochement remains a convenient illusion unless or until proved otherwise. No evidence suggests longterm US hostility eased. Plenty indicates otherwise.

Obama elevated neo-Nazi putschists to power in Kiev. He backs lawless governance. He spurns democratic legitimacy.

He bears full responsibility for crisis conditions. At issue is what he intends going forward. He risks potential global war. Don't expect Times editors and/or contributors to explain. They support what demands condemnation.

They repeat the Big Lie. "Putin invaded Crimea," they said. A former unnamed Obama senior national security aid was quoted saying: "We're seeing the 'light footprint" run out of gas."

Former Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted saying:

"There was a view that if the United States pulled back and stopped 'imposing' and 'insisting' in the world, the vacuum would be filled by good things."

"But what has filled that space has been brutal dictators; extremist forces, especially in Iraq and Syria; and nationalism."

"Pulled back?" From what? "Stopped imposing" its will? How so? Stopped "insisting" in the world?" Fundamental US policies under Democrats and Republicans enforce hardline Washington rules.

Multiple direct and proxy wars rage. Obama only stopped short of starting WW III. Perhaps he intends doing so. Don't expect Times and contributors to explain.

Jochen Bittner is Die Zeit's political editor. He's militantly pro-war. Last year, he complained about Germany's unwillingness to wage it.

He wrote about "rethinking German pacifism." He wants a greater military commitment. Die Zeit's editor, Joseph Joffe, urges "massive" Middle East war.

Both men aggressively promote escalated German militarism. Bittner got feature Times op-ed space. He took full advantage.

He headlined "Is Crimea the Next Yugoslavia?" He wrote from Simferopol, Crimea. He spoke to a man named Bratislav.

He said he came from Kosovo "to protect the Russian brothers from the fascists."

"I can tell you," he said, "Ukraine is becoming the next Yugoslavia. Only bigger." Other Crimeans told Bittner the same thing.

He called referendum results "a catalyst for disintegration. He claimed former "(d)ifferent cultural and ethnic identities that used to coexist peacefully" no longer exist.

He scorned referendum results saying so. Numerous Crimean Ukrainians and Tatars voted in lockstep. They support joining Russia.

Trouble doesn't exist in Crimea. It's based in Kiev. It's headquartered in Washington. It's in Brussels and other Western European capitals.

Bittner didn't explain. Indeed, the threat of Ukrainian civil war exists. The US/EU-created monster risks it.

Crimeans want peace and stability. They want union with Russia. They want Moscow guaranteeing their protection.

It's their best chance to avoid conflict. It's their best hope to survive it it erupts.

Bittner bashed Crimea's referendum. He mischaracterized it. He called it "nothing less than the emergence of two nations within one state."

"…Russian control may usher in outright oppression," he said. His logic is upside down.

Crimea joining Russia is its best chance to avoid it. He asked whether militants might be attracted to Crimea.

He stopped short of explaining only if Kiev, Washington and rogue EU partners enlist them to launch Euromaidan 2.0.

He blamed Putin for what may be planned. "Chetniks. Cossacks. Fascists. Zombies, Jihadis. Was this part of Mr. Putin's plan to enlarge his empire," he asked?

He called him the "Kremlin's would-be strongman." He "resembles Goethe's foolhardy sorcerer's apprentice," he said.

He pointed fingers the wrong way. He wrongfully blamed him for ongoing events in Crimea. He substituted misinformation for credible analysis.

Before Sunday's referendum, The Times headlined "Russia Moves Swiftly to Stifle Dissent Ahead of Secession Vote."

It lied claiming "Russian soldiers took up positions" at Simferopol's "television transmission center."

None invaded Crimea. None comprise an occupying force. The Times wrongfully claimed they're involved in "a broad effort to muffle dissent over the Kremlin-backed project to guide Crimea through a swift secession from Ukraine."

It spun a scenario of well-armed Russian troops, local self-defense forces called "pro-secession militia," carrying "whips" to intimidate anti-self-determination Crimeans.

It claimed tactics resembled what "accompanied rigged ballots across the old Soviet world."

It alleged fraud. It ignored a legitimate process. It turned a blind eye to what turned out to be a model democratic election. It puts sham US ones to shame.

It claimed "dissent (was) suppressed by the implicit threat of force." No evidence whatever suggested it. None exists.

"In a matter of days, the Kremlin has succeeded in recreating the constrained conditions of Russia's own civic sphere in Crimea," it claimed.

It cited nonexistent "targeted intimidation (and) an expansive military occupation by 'unmistakably' elite Russian units…"

You can't make this stuff up. The so-called "newspaper of record" reinvents history. It fabricates scenarios it calls news.

It cited Kiev fascist putschists as reliable sources. It repeated one Big Lie after another.

It suggested Russian forces "could be preparing to occupy parts of eastern and southern Ukraine."

It called Crimean democrats "strong-arm" bullies. It compared them to myths about Putin targeting opponents at home.

It lied claiming "Crimean journalists (were) ordered not to describe the soldiers on their soil as Russian or to use the word 'occupation.' "

It lied again saying "foreign and local journalists (were) beaten and had their materials confiscated…"

"…Russian troops (and supportive elements) "blockaded…Ukrainian government centers," it claimed.

This type reporting doesn't rise to the level of bad fiction. It doesn't pass the smell test. The Times has a long disturbing history. It's an establishment publication.

It supports wealth, power and privilege. It turns truth on its head. It suppresses vital information. It features rubbish.

It systematically ignores police state Kiev ruthlessness. It lied claiming Crimea's model democracy suppresses freedom. It shames itself in the process. The pattern repeats daily.

Neocon Washington Post editors headlined "US, EU must stay the course on Russian sanctions over Ukraine."

They lied claiming Russia "seize(d) Crimea." Washington and EU partners "must fashion a new policy…to counter (Putin's) aggression," they bellowed.

They called a model democratic exercise an "orchestrated" one. Maybe he plans "inva(ding) eastern Ukraine," they claimed.

They want Putin "punish(ed)" and "weaken(ed)." They want tougher measures than ones imposed.

They want Russia "massiv(ely)" damaged "economically and politically." Maybe they want WW III.

Neocons think this way. They promote war and violence. They deplore peace and stability. They endorse imperial lawlessness.

WaPo editors are some of the worst. Wall Street Journal ones match them. They headlined "Welcome to the 19th Century."

The repeated the Big Lie. They claimed Russia invaded Crimea. They quoted John Kerry saying "on a completely trumped up pretext."

Russia respects its neighbors. It doesn't wage lawless aggression. Doing so is a US tradition.

It dates from the 19th century. It continues recklessly out-of-control today. Don't expect Journal editors to explain.

They lied claiming Putin "consolidated his hold on Crimea Sunday by forcing a referendum with only two choices."

One was enough given an overwhelming near 97% majority and celebratory victory joy.

Journal editors lied claiming choices offered were to join Russia now or later. False! Crimeans voted on whether to join the Russian Federation or remain part of Ukraine.

"Next up for conquest may be eastern Ukraine," claimed Journal editors. Russian forces mobilized on its border ready to invade, they hallucinated.

"Russian agitators (may) create another 'trumped up pretext,' " they claimed. Moscow "revanchists moved (to create) new world disorder," they added.

Putin aims to "carv(e) up foreign countries when he feels he can," they said.

Journal editors want "renewed military deterrent." They want NATO involved. They want Western forces deployed near Russia's borders.

They want advanced weapons targeting its heartland. Maybe they want WW III.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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