“Russian Propaganda” Just Means Disobedience

You can always tell how important narrative control is by watching the way people react when their control of the narrative is jeopardized.

Empire apologists are raging at Amnesty International for pausing its aggressive facilitation of western imperialism to issue one brief criticism of the way Ukrainian forces have been endangering civilian lives with their warfare tactics against the Russian military.

Amnesty is far from the first to highlight this extensively documented issue; that Ukrainian forces have been deliberately positioning themselves in civilian populations without taking proper measures to protect noncombatants is a concern that has been voiced repeatedly since the war began and reported on by both mainstream western news outlets and the United Nations.

Nevertheless, Amnesty’s claim that “Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas, including in schools and hospitals” has drawn fire from Ukrainian officials, from mass media pundits, from the brainwashed rank-and-file on social media, and from President Zelensky himself.

A common criticism circulating among the outrage is that Amnesty is facilitating Russian propaganda, has been influenced by Russian propaganda, or has itself become an instrument of Russian propaganda.

The head of Amnesty International’s Ukrainian branch resigned as a result of the report, saying that “the organization created material that sounded like support for Russian narratives” and that in an effort to protect civilians, “this study became a tool of Russian propaganda.”

“It is a shame that the organization like Amnesty is participating in this disinformation and propaganda campaign,” tweeted Zelensky advisor Mykhailo Podolyak.

“Amnesty International can go to hell for this garbage,” tweeted Human Rights Foundation Chairman Garry Kasparov. “Or go to Ukraine, which Putin’s war is trying to turn into hell. As with their actions on Navalny, it reeks of Russian influence turning Kremlin propaganda into Amnesty statements.”

The Daily Mail called the Amnesty report “a coup for Vladimir Putin’s propaganda machine.”

“The organization gives a huge assist to Russian propaganda,” tweeted Oleksiy Sorokin, chief operating officer of the NATO propaganda outlet Kyiv Independent.

“Shameful victim-blaming. Russia invaded Ukraine and is committing unspeakable war crimes there. Please do not amplify Russian lies,” tweeted Paul Massaro of the US government’s Helsinki Commission.

The underlying premise behind these complaints, of course, is that it is Amnesty International’s job to help Ukraine win a propaganda campaign against Russia. Which is odd, because Amnesty’s reporting on the war has actually been overwhelmingly biased in favor of Ukraine this entire time.

“Anger directed at Amnesty is surprising given that it is the first critical piece the group has written on Ukraine since the war began,” reports Unherd. “Over the last six months, Amnesty has published 40 articles on Ukraine, nearly all of which condemn Russia’s invasion, with only one exception — its latest — that could be conceivably described as critical of Ukraine.”

Even the Amnesty report currently sparking all the outrage contains repeated condemnations of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, citing “indiscriminate attacks by Russian forces” and “war crimes” Amnesty has found Russia guilty of committing, as well as decrying the use of “inherently indiscriminate weapons, including internationally banned cluster munitions.”

But even ninety-nine percent loyalty to the official line is not enough for imperial spinmeisters and the empire’s useful idiots. Anything short of 100 percent compliance counts as Russian propaganda.

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Western Propaganda Continues to promote the Meme that Russia Is Toast

The aphorism penned by the English poet Thomas Gray 275 years ago is still relevant and resonates:

No more; where Ignorance is Bliss,
’Tis Folly to be wise.

The ecstatic callowness of the media is jaw-droppingly stupid when it comes to opining on Russia in general and Putin in particular. Consider first these headlines from the Washington Post’s opinion page.

The will of Ukrainian volunteers shows how we will prevail over Russia by Iuliia Mendel

Even from prison I can see opposition to Putin’s war growing by Vladimir Kara-Murza

Putin is doing his best to out-fascist Mussolini by George Will

‘Realists’ have it wrong: Putin, not Zelensky, is the one who can end the war. by Michael McFaul

Note that the Post is making sure that no dissenting opinions appear. When you are running a propaganda op you must ensure that disquieting facts that challenge the party line are blocked. George Will, apparently mentally slipping in his dotage, does not appreciate the irony of labeling Putin a fascist while he–George Will–eagerly peddles the party line in order to please corporate and government masters. Ignorance is bliss, George. Ditto for Iuliia, Vladmir and McFaul.

But the most egregious example of ignorance presented as “news” comes courtesy of Yvonne Lau writing at Fortune. Did you know that Russia is on the ropes and headed for the dustbin of history?

‘There’s no path out of economic oblivion for Russia’: New report reveals how corporate exodus has already wiped out decades of post–Cold War growth.

The Western sanctions and widespread corporate exodus from Russia since Feb. 24 have ravaged the Russian economy—and its future prospects look even bleaker, according to a new report from Yale University researchers and economists led by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale School of Management professor and senior associate dean for leadership studies. It’s now become clear that the Kremlin’s “finances are in much, much more dire straits than conventionally understood” and that the large-scale “business retreats and sanctions are catastrophically crippling the Russian economy,” the researchers wrote.

As of Aug. 4, over 1,000 companies, including U.S. firms like Nike, IBM, and Bain consulting, have curtailed their operations in Russia. Though some businesses have stayed, the mass corporate exodus represents 40% of Russia’s GDP and reverses 30 years’ worth of foreign investment, says the Yale report.

The international retreat is morphing into a larger crisis for the country: a collapse in foreign imports and investments.

Russia has descended into a technological crisis as a result of its isolation from the global economy. It’s having trouble securing critical technology and parts.

Oh my God. How will Russia live without the NIKE’s made by slaves in China and the wisdom dispensed by Mitt Romney’s old consulting firm, BAIN. I can see Vladimir Putin now. He is curled up in a fetal position under his bed. Barefoot. Bereft of the latest pair of Air Jordan’s. Even more terrifying, he now realizes he is deprived of Mitt Romney’s pearls of wisdom. How can Putin and Russia survive without that titan of capitalism in his corner? Poor little Vladimir is sobbing inconsolably.

Okay. Back to reality. The claim that 1000 plus companies allegedly bailed on Russia is a total misrepresentation ( I think the scholarly term is “bullshit”). The total number listed in the Yale study is 1382. Over 400 companies are still operating in Russia. Another 500 are listed as “keeping their options open” for returning to work in Russia. Only 311 companies have made a “clean break”. For the math challenged among you, that is a measly 23%.

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CBS News Censors Its Own Documentary Exposing How 70% of US Funding of Ukraine is Wasted

CBS News has sensationally censored its own documentary after the film exposed how only 30% of weapons funding provided by the US makes it to the front lines.

A tweeted posted by CBS on Friday promoted its new film ‘Arming Ukraine’ by explaining that the documentary “explores why much of the billions of dollars of military aid that the U.S. is sending to Ukraine doesn’t make it to the front lines: “Like 30% of it reaches its final destination.”

In the documentary, experts told CBS they had no idea where most of the weaponry was going.

Republican lawmakers explained how they felt vindicated by the revelation, having previously opposed a $40 billion Ukraine aid package.

“This [is] one of the reasons I voted ‘no,’” US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) tweeted in response to the CBS report.

“Flooding a country with advanced weapons can have grave consequences, even when done with the best of intentions,” CBS’s description of the documentary read. “This CBS Reports documentary goes inside Ukraine to get a firsthand look at how military aid gets from the border to frontline soldiers, and explores the difficulties of getting the aid to the fighters who need it.”

However, the film has now been completely removed from the CBS website, with a ‘page not found’ label in its place.

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Why Are Media Ignoring This Muslim Mayor’s Racism And Alleged Election Fraud In Michigan?

The mayor of Hamtramck, Michigan, Ameer Haiderah Ghalib, was recently exposed for mocking black political demonstrations and endorsing comments that referred to African Americans as “animal” and “inhuman.” He also accused Arab world leaders of being secret Jews and “liked” a Facebook post calling Jews “monkeys” who tax “the air we breathe.”

Ghalib, the first Muslim mayor in Hamtramck’s 100-year history, even admitted to committing a potential case of voter fraud by filling out absentee ballots for about 20 families during the 2020 presidential primary. Both the FBI and the Michigan secretary of state’s office have looked into the allegation.

Yet, in the era of “cancel culture,” when activist reporters have all but abandoned investigative reporting in favor of opinionated call-outs, not a column inch has been devoted to documenting the misdeeds of an internationally known public official. Black political activists have failed to march a single city block in opposition to Ghalib’s anti-black racism, and Jewish rights organizations are silent in the face of antisemitic dog whistles.

Ghalib’s ability to escape consequences for statements that would ruin another elected official — or for that matter, a private citizen — is indicative of a broader societal trend that privileges Islamists and lets them off the hook for bad behavior.

Recent history presents many examples. Islamists who slander Jews or call for their extermination are offered jobs on government anti-racism commissions. Muslim extremists whose social media accounts are littered with anti-black commentary have been invited to speak at Black Lives Matter rallies or selected to host discussions on Muslim-black solidarity.

Ghalib is no exception. The 42-year-old Caribbean medical school student shared an offensive meme on Facebook that is frequently traded in white supremacist chat rooms and racist message boards. The image portrayed an African American overloaded with liquor bottles after presumably looting stores during the George Floyd protests.

Ghalib captioned the meme to suggest that the black man, whom he calls “Mr. Heineken,” considered looting alcohol a “duty” to acquire “essential nutrition.” He endorsed comments in the same thread describing African Americans as alcoholics who “will never behave unless they are governed by law, force, and the police who know them very well.”

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Alex Jones and the Right to Offend

On Dec. 14, 2012, a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six staffers.  Alex Jones, a controversial far-right talk show host, called the Sandy Hook massacre a U.S. government hoax, staged using crisis actors, to serve as a pretext for gun control.  Parents of one of the slain children filed a defamation suit against Jones, claiming that followers of Jones had harassed them and sent them death threats for years in the false belief that they were lying about their son’s death.

Jones’s defense was his right to free speech and that he was not responsible for the harassment.  He lost.  The jury awarded the parents $45.2 million in punitive damages on top of $4.1 million in compensatory damages — another example of outrageous damage verdicts that plague the legal system.

Freedom of speech is coming under attack from all directions.  The primary assault is based on the existence of a new “right”: the right not to be offended.  It is claimed by many on the left that the right not to be offended is more important than the right to free expression.

Our colleges and universities have fallen victim to this new “right.”  The feelings of students often constitute sufficient justification for campus censorship.  If a conservative speaker offends some of the students, that speaker can be denied a platform.  “The belief that free speech rights don’t include the right to speak offensively is now firmly entrenched on campuses and enforced by repressive speech or harassment codes,” wrote attorney Wendy Kaminer in The Atlantic.

The problem is spreading to the mainstream.  In the 2010 case of Nurre v. Whitehead, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings that school authorities can deny students’ rights to free speech just to keep other students from being offended.  The courts are “allowing schools the discretion to let an offended minority control a cowed majority,” constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead wrote in the Huffington Post.  “There is no way to completely avoid giving offense,” he said.  “At some time or other, someone is going to take offense at something someone else says or does.  It’s inevitable.  Such politically correct thinking has resulted in a host of inane actions, from the Easter Bunny being renamed ‘Peter Rabbit’ to Christmas Concerts being dubbed ‘Winter’ Concerts.”

In a democratic republic, there can be no right not to be offended.  If anyone can prohibit another person’s speech because it’s offensive, there is no limit to the restrictions that can be placed on free expression.  As the late author Christopher Hitchens said, “[f]reedom of speech must include the license to offend.”

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ESPN’s Jalen Rose: Stop Saying Mt. Rushmore, It’s ‘Offensive’

ESPN analyst and former NBA player Jalen Rose has launched a new campaign to cancel Mr. Rushmore because he says the name of “offensive” to all Americans.

Rose posted a video to social media insisting that the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians dumped their Native American names and imagery because it was “offensive.”

He then said he has a new piece of U.S. history he believes should be canceled: Mt. Rushmore.

“I want to continue to challenge myself and to challenge you to do something,” Rose said in his Twitter video. “Can we retire using Mt. Rushmore?”

“That should be offensive to all of us, especially Native Americans,” Rose exclaimed.

“The indigenous people, who were the first people here before Christopher Columbus. Their land was stolen from them when it was discovered that it contained gold,” Rose continued.

“And 25 years later — to add insult to injury — four American presidents were put on what we call Mt Rushmore. On the top of the dead bodies that is buried right underneath,” he added.

“So, I call for you — and for myself, I’m in on this too — let’s stop using the term Mt. Rushmore,” he concluded, “when we talkin’ about our favorite rappers, talkin’ about our favorite movies, we talkin’ about our favorite players.”

“I know you gonna see this video and I know you gonna take action,” he said.

It was unclear if Rose was speaking metaphorically about the faces of the four presidents carved “on top of the dead bodies” of Native Americans. Or if he mistakenly thinks Mt. Rushmore is some sort of burial ground. But no one is buried on the mountain or immediately below the carvings.

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New Media Are As Intertwined With Imperial Power As Old Media

Alan MacLeod has a new article out with Mintpress News showing how most of the supposedly independent “fact-checking” organizations which Facebook has partnered with to police the information people are allowed to see on the platform about the war in Ukraine are, in fact, funded by the United States government.

“Most of the fact-checking organizations Facebook has partnered with to monitor and regulate information about Ukraine are directly funded by the U.S. government, either through the U.S. Embassy or via the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED),” MacLeod writes.

NED is indeed notorious because, as MacLeod explains, it was set up to do overtly many of the operations which the CIA used to perform covertly, like circulating propaganda in empire-targeted nations, funding foreign uprisings, and facilitating the 2014 coup in Ukraine which set in motion the events that would eventually lead to Russia’s invasion of the nation this past February.

Macleod shows how US government money is funneled into Facebook’s “fact-checking organizations” through NED and other channels, the result being a US government-funded narrative management operation in a social media platform which has almost three billion active users.

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Shaun King threatens to dox New York Post reporters: ‘I know where you live’

Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King is threatening to doxx multiple New York Post reporters and their families after the journalists published a series of unflattering reports about the controversial activist’s lavish spending and purchases.

King posted photos of New York Post journalists Isabel Vincent and Kevin Sheehan on his Instagram and Facebook accounts, encouraging his followers to send him photos of their families and homes. King has since deleted the series of posts but not before they reached his 3.8 million followers on Instagram and 2.5 million followers on Facebook.

“The amount of pain this woman caused my family is incalculable,” King wrote about Isabel Vincent across his Instagram, Facebook, and website, asking supporters to send her home address, according to Daily Beast. “Send me details and photos. Of her. And her home.”

King made similar requests in a series of posts on his platforms about Kevin Sheehan and said, “This is Kevin Sheehan of the @NYPost. He has been attacking me and my family. Send me photos of his home. Send me photos of him. And his family,” Daily Beast reports.

Shaun King claims he advocates for the poor and disenfranchised communities. He is retaliating against The New York Post journalists whose reports exposed King’s lavish spending, including a lakefront property purchase.

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