The night of Feb. 15, 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine sat at anchor in Havana, Cuba. A few minutes after 9 p.m., the nightly ritual of “Taps” from Fifer C. H. Newton’s bugle descended over the ship. Some half an hour later, the forward end of the ship rose suddenly above the water.
“Along the pier, passersby could hear a rumbling explosion,” detailed author Tom Miller. “Within seconds, another eruption — this one deafening and massive — splintered the bow, sending anything that wasn’t battened down, and most that was, flying more than 200 feet into the air.”
The explosion, which killed more than 250 men on board, was quickly memorialized with cries of “Remember the Maine!” Without directly accusing Spain, which controlled Cuba at the time, a U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry decided a month later that the explosion was from a mine. (A U.S. Navy investigation decades later found it was likely an accidental coal bunker fire.)
Shortly afterward, the United States declared war on Spain, starting the Spanish-American War. One of the biggest warmongering forces in America, capitalizing on the Maine‘s explosion, was the press — a position American media pundits continue to hold as they work overtime to drag Americans into a war with Russia over Ukraine.
When you see talking heads uncritically parroting propagandist stories about Ukraine that turn out to be false, from the “Ghost of Kyiv” to that Snake Island story to old photos taken years ago, you should be asking why the corporate media is so willing to spread such fake news (while it censors conservatives for factual critiques of disproven Covid narratives, no less). It wouldn’t be the first time the press lied to pull Americans into war.
Russia has responded to the United States’ elaborate and bizarre accusations that it will produce a propaganda false flag video to use a pretext to invade Ukraine, calling the US narrative “delusional” and “nonsense”. “The delusional nature of such fabrications — and there are more and more of them every day — is obvious to any more or less experienced political scientist,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in televised remarks Friday.
“It’s not my call to guess why our Western colleagues can be surprised now,” Lavrov added. “They are surprised with or without reason, mostly for no reason, or at some reasons that they make up themselves.”
Referring to a US State Department explanation on Thursday, which was met with considerable pushback even from US mainstream reporters, Lavrov described, “I saw on the Internet some statements by the Department of State that Russia was plotting to film some fake videos of an alleged Ukrainian attack on the Donbass. The craziness of such ideas… is obvious to any more or less experienced political scientist,” the Russian top diplomat said.
When pressed for evidence by AP journalist Matt Lee, the State Department’s Ned Price tried to shut down the line of inquiry by suggesting Lee and other skeptics “find solace in information that the Russians are putting out” – to which Lee audibly laughed, given he was the most veteran American journalist in the room.
Earlier on Thursday the Biden administration and US intelligence came out with some explosive and outlandish claims, saying Russia is planning to release a video depicting graphic scenes of a “staged false explosion with corpses, actors depicting mourners, and images of destroyed locations and military equipment,” as CNN described it. The story was featured initially in The Washington Post and New York Times – and as usual was anonymously sourced to “officials say…”.