Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, and Chris Hedges have lent their expertise to the subject of the war in Ukraine with some recent comments that help bring some much-needed clarity to an often confusing and always contentious issue. Here they are:
“I’ve spent my career working in the mainstream, and I’ve covered probably seven, eight, nine shooting wars; I’ve never seen coverage so utterly consumed by a tsunami of jingoism, and of manipulative jingoism as this one.”
~ John Pilger
This comment comes from a recent interview with the legendary Australian journalist by the South China Morning Post, and it says so much about the information ecosystem we now find ourselves floundering around trying to understand things in.
From the earliest days of the invasion it was clear that the western world was being smashed with a deluge of propaganda unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. In the first full month of the conflict, American network TV stations gave more coverage to the war in Ukraine than any other war that the US has been directly involved in, including Iraq and Vietnam. Literal Iraq war architects were some of the first pundits sought out for analysis of the conflict by the mainstream press, and calls for insane escalations against Russia succeeded in pushing the Overton window of acceptable debate in the direction of warmongering extremism and away from support for diplomatic solutions.
And this was all easily piped into mainstream consciousness because the way had been lubricated by years of Russia hysterica resulting from the mass scale psychological operation known as Russiagate. America’s most dangerous confrontation in generations just so happens to have been preceded by years of media-generated panic about that very same country, despite the Ukraine invasion having ostensibly nothing whatsoever to do with the conspiracy theory that the Kremlin had infiltrated the highest levels of the US government. Heckin’ heck of a coincidence right there, buddy boy.
“It’s quite interesting that in American discourse, it is almost obligatory to refer to the invasion as the ‘unprovoked invasion of Ukraine’. Look it up on Google, you will find hundreds of thousands of hits. Of course, it was provoked. Otherwise they wouldn’t refer to it all the time as an unprovoked invasion.”
~ Noam Chomsky
This quote, from an interview last month with Ramzy Baroud, is self-evidently true and should be pointed out more often.
People don’t go adding the same gratuitous adjectives and modifiers to something over and over again unless they’re trying to manipulate how it’s perceived. If your neighbor always referred to his wife as “my wife who I definitely never beat,” you’d immediately become suspicious because that’s not how normal people talk about normal things. We don’t say “round Earth” or “the Holocaust that totally happened,” we just say the words, because their basic nature is not seriously in dispute and we’ve got nothing invested in manipulating or obfuscating people’s understanding about them.