When a licensed hawk like Dr. Henry Kissinger persistently argues that the present demonizing of Vladimir Putin in the West is not just bad policy, but even lack of policy, one could expect that at least those less right-wing than him had taken some notice. And when he with the same determination claims that Russiaâ€™s security interests near its borders must be recognized by USA and EU, he cannot be suspected to be Putinâ€™s tool. A plausible conclusion is instead that western conservatives and liberals along the line have run amok in Russophobe frenzy.
The uniform narrative on the Russian issue, spread all over western mainstream media, is embarrassingly ignorant and naÃ¯ve or – more exactly â€“ mostly outright stupid. Itâ€™s as if the old format from the blatant anti-communist propaganda in the first cold war has been recovered from the archives and recycled. Itâ€™s not just one-sided, like all propaganda, itâ€™s also deliberately misleading (or, as Paul Craig Roberts would say: itâ€™s all lies).
(One hour ago I heard a segment in the Swedish public service radio, to take just a minuscule example. It has been reported today that Poroshenko will put forward new legislation that will permit some kind of autonomy for the break-away regions in eastern Ukraine. The â€œpublic serviceâ€ reporter supposes that Poroshenko is under pressure from Germany and France (to get financial support), and then he devotes most of the time to an interview with some unknown Ukrainian nationalist who is allowed to thoroughly describe his opposition to the legislation. Not a word is said about the central fact: that the autonomy in question is a fundamental clause in the Minsk accords.)
According to our propaganda the civil war in Ukraine is â€œPutinâ€™s warâ€ although Russia had pushed harder than anyone else for a negotiated solution. â€œPutin wants to conquer Ukraineâ€ (a lie by Yatsenjuk and others) although Russia has put forward a resolution to the UN Security Council, guaranteeing Ukraineâ€™s integrity and secure borders. â€œPutin wants to restore the Soviet Unionâ€ (McCain et.al.), â€œPutin is a new Hitlerâ€ (Clinton) etcetera.
A completely different event concerning Putin has been announced by Professor Stephen Cohen in The Nation recently. No president in Russia before Putin has managed to push through the establishment of a museum commemorating all the victims of Stalinâ€™s reign of terror. Now he has done that, probably in defiance of a large partÂ of Russians that consider Stalin to be a great nation builder and a war-winning marshal. We now just have to wait and see how our media will distort the building of this museum to match the demonizing of Putin (if they canâ€™t manage that, they can be expected to be dead silent). The museum will be inaugurated in October this year.
More about this issue can be listened to via The Nationâ€™s web edition where Stephen Cohen discusses with John Batchelor.