Category Archives: Putin

EU information war against Russia – a lying contest?

“EU readies action plan to counter Russian media ‘disinformation’” says RT.com Thursday, referring to leaked documents. My “anti-disinformation” paper Dagens Nyheter obviously intercepted the leak and started the counter-attack already on Wednesday. They didn’t assign their sharpest pen for the task so the different lines of thought in his article were not necessarily consistent with one another.

The brave thinker had incidentally found one brilliant crux in the apparent success for Russian propagandists, who namely have discovered the weak spot in western societies: our inclination for the postmodern fantasy that there are no facts, just different narratives. That the absolute truth belongs with western media is obviously an axiom and was not even mentioned. Instead a number of Russian false narratives were lined up. Some examples:

It’s a lie that Russia didn’t plan the occupation of Crimea. It’s a lie that Russian regular troops haven’t been commanded to fight in Ukraine. It’s a lie that the Kiev government ordered the shoot-down of the Malaysian passenger plane. And the scribbler is apparently cocksure that he owns the truth, though he has not a shred of evidence to support it with. He doesn’t even suggest that there is any need whatsoever to supply evidence, or even reasonable arguments.

And this is the center of the real postmodern fog we move around in:

– We “are convinced at heart” that Putin has evil intentions.
– We “know” that Russia is waging a war of aggression on Ukraine.
– We “are certain” that Putin and Russian media are lying about probably all crucial events.
– It took the Swedish foreign minister two hours to definitely “establish” that MH17 was shot down by pro-Russian rebels assisted by Russians.
– Although a steadily increasing number of factors point at the Ukrainian Air Force as the perpetrator, it’s still “self evident” that the Russians are to blame.
– It’s “of course” Putin that lies behind the killings of Nemtsov and the other journalists who met the same fate.
– And if it isn’t Putin personally it’s his “spirit”, and therefor “his name will forever be tied to these murders” as another journalist in the same paper put it.

With their almost pathological capacity of self-justification our journalists cannot even dream of having to prove anything of what they claim. And conversely it’s presupposed that everything that “the enemy” says is a lie, sometimes even when proof is evident.

But the main strategy of monitoring the “truth” in western media is to avoid, repress or silence everything that speaks in favor of “the enemy”, but the more meticulously sort out and magnify every little enemy aberration to be found.

“We are the truth!” is our media credo (with divine inspiration); don’t have us provide any proof of what we claim!

The author I’ve mentioned had the guts to call on – everybody else supposedly – to “pursue the truth” as a means to counter the Russian “Information war”!!

At this point I just had to go for a walk in the sunshine.

Political assassinations in Russia – and Sweden

Finally Dagens Nyheter got to – almost – say that Putin is a killer. But, all right, even if he didn’t personally order the assassination of Boris Nemtsov it was a “product of the Russian system” with the indisputable purpose to “hit the democratic opposition with a devastating blow”. DN “knows” everything without any knowledge or shred of evidence, in this case as in the downing of MH17, the snipers in Maidan, the Russian invasion, Putin’s intentions and everything else. This flagship in Swedish media thus gladly leaves behind the basic journalistic ethics that calls for factuality in reporting.

One particularly interesting thing DN “knows” is that Putin hasn’t changed his “perception that Ukraine does not have a real legitimacy as an independent country”. This is DNs statement not many days after Russia submitted a resolution to the UN Security Council with the precise call for Ukraine’s unity and national integrity. The resolution was passed, which indeed wasn’t highlighted in DN.

Even in New York Times a reporter expressed some astonishment over this Russian standpoint in UN of Ukrainian unity as if she had never heard of it, though Putin and Lavrov consistently have upheld the same view from the very beginning. They declared in words and showed in action that Russia had no intention of occupying southeastern Ukraine (at first to the obvious disappointment of the separatists).

But, OK, decent western democratic media cannot pay attention to men like those two. Instead they have dutifully published Yatsenjuk’s repeated assurances, groundless and obviously based on his own fantasies that Russia intended to conquer the entire Ukraine. NYTs reporter fell victim of western propaganda, DN hasn’t even noticed anything(?)

Sweden probably outscores Russia for the last 30 years when it comes to assassinations of high profile politicians relative to population. (I suppose we have to ask DN if this is a “product of the Swedish system” or not.) First we had the murder in 1986 of Prime Minister Olof Palme, as much lauded among poor people around the world as he was demonized by the “decent” bourgeoisie at home. The horrible slander and scorn Palme had to endure has no parallel in Swedish politics ever.

Ridiculous rumors about Palme spread like wildfire among the well-offs in Stockholm: he was mentally ill (for visiting his demented mother treated in a hospital), he was a drug addict (“my wife’s sister knows a doctor who treats him for that…”), he was a communist spy, he had extra-marital affairs etc. The fine people’s fantasies were limitless. The following caricature is one of the most benevolent made of him (the really horrible ones, endemic during his lifetime, seem to have disappeared from the Internet):

Palme

Many thought that the hate campaign had triggered someone to commit the murder. Suspicions flew in all directions (I’m quite sure that some believed Soviet Russia could have had a hand in it) and strangely detailed testimonies popped up from all over. The chief investigator followed a Kurdish trail, but choked on it and was replaced. Most popular among a growing number of amateur investigators was a police track, soon supported by a host of incidental “evidence”. And so it went on under intense media coverage. The case was never solved although some circumstances ultimately pointed at an alcoholic and thug, possibly hired by some other criminal.

Victim of the second high profile murder was Anna Lindh, stabbed by a mentally unstable man in 2003. She was also a Social Democrat, active Foreign Minister and much liked by her international colleagues. Any connections between the murderer and any outside monitors were never discovered, and everybody seemed pleased with that.

We have at least a third murder with political motives. A syndicalist, Anders Söderberg, was murdered by neo-Nazis in 1999 for disclosing one of their cronies (which made him lose his job). That makes three political assassinations in thirty years, which would be equivalent to 45 such murders in Russia in the same period. Some expert may pick the winner.

We will never know if there ultimately were political forces behind the murders of Palme and Lindh, and further speculations are pointless. In contrast our main newspaper, supposed to be the most serious, feels obviously free to speculate wildly on their preconceived stereotypes about Russian political murders.

It’s worth saying again: Apparently Vladimir Putin’s real crime in the eyes of DNs journalists and other western ideologues is that he put an end to the capitalist melt-down in Russia, stopped the genocide caused by the same capitalist roll-over, a genocide that claimed 10 million lives of which a majority were younger men leaving children and women fatherless and widows. It took harsh measures to reclaim a small part of the fortunes belonging to the people and stolen by a bunch of cunning apparatchiks. It’s not done with a tea party to passably rescue the complete wreck Russia was in the 1990s.

If some are to blame for the fact that Vladimir Putin is ruling Russia and not someone like Mahatma Gandhi it would be first of all Yeltsin, Gaidar and a group of American economists (with the Swede Anders Ã…slund). Boris Nemtsov was also a player on that team, certainly a reason for his low public acceptance rate now. These ruthless ideologues, purporting to implement “economic rules”, completely destroyed everything, wiped out half the industrial capacity and threw the country back to the third world from where it came in 1917. If our reactionary demagogues now dictating the paradigm had at least an ounce of empathy in their bodies, they would give Russia a minimum of leeway in its efforts to build a modern society again. How they might think that the confrontation they now play hard with will solve anything is a mystery.

“Land grabbing” Putin calls for a united Ukraine!

Let me start with a value judgment: Vladimir Putin is not that kind of leader I would like to see in my country, Sweden. From the image of him one gets through media he seems to have some typical Russian streaks that wouldn’t fit here. That said, the picture painted of him in Swedish media is ridiculously distorted. By persistently focusing on every minor detail with a negative connotation, and meticulously censoring everything else, our media is almost at a point where they have made Putin look like some new kind of Stalin.

To continue with personal values though: if Sweden had gone through the same total melt-down as Russia did during the 1990s, I would have preferred a leader like Putin to rectify the society. The almost unmatched social catastrophe directly resulting from the capitalist Harmagedon that was forced upon Russia was never mentioned in our media, and is completely wiped out of history. It’s just that 10 million people died, mostly younger men (and much in the same way as the Native Americans: by being deprived of their means of existence). (I wrote about this in March 2014.)

Putin put an end to this genocide and cleaned up most of the mess caused mainly by western economists, and got the society passably working, so much so that some kind of development could be initiated. It naturally took harsh measures, first of all to reclaim some of the country’s wealth stolen by oligarchs in the turmoil of the 90s. This is obviously considered by western rulers and oligarchs as Putin’s deadly sin, an important basis for the hatred against him and marked by our consistent support for Russian billionaires in the Diaspora.

Today’s topic is the evacuation of Debaltseve in Ukraine. My paper DN naturally described this as Putin’s “land grabbing”, just another sign of that man’s diabolic nature. It’s probably supposed to be a token of DNs benevolence that they kept secret a certain text contradicting its thesis. I’m referring to a resolution put forward by Russia to the UN Security Council urging all parties to adhere to the Minsk agreement.

This resolution calls for a “total ceasefire” and a “political solution” that respects the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine”. To be noted: this is the wording chosen by Russia! Donbas is consequently an indivisible part of Ukraine, clearly stated by Vladimir Putin (that land grabbing thug). What has to be solved is some kind of autonomy within the Ukrainian state for the Donbas region.

The fact that Kiev is sending artillery to kill its own civil citizens must be interpreted as Kiev’s refusal to accept any kind of autonomy for any region. This is a recipe for disaster. A Kiev army manned by conscripted and reluctant soldiers stands no chance against motivated fighters defending their native soil. The violent path chosen by Kiev will lead to a total confrontation taking the word closer to a new global war than ever. The simple way to solve the problem is for Poroshenko to meet with leaders from Donbas and settle the whole thing according to the Minsk agreement. Can’t anyone with his or her head screwed on point this out for Poroshenko or whoever is steering this wreck. Or is it Obama that has to clear his mind and realize what’s obvious?

Will this ceasefire make the real problems obvious?

Ceasefire in Ukraine and Putin seems to accept it, and more than that, even push for it. Strange, since the Prime minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenjuk, from the very beginning insured us that Putin’s Russia wanted to conquer the entire Ukraine. And this PM should be a most credible man, appointed by a high US official as he is, and fully endorsed all the way by our main paper, Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Well, Yatsenjuk has made a lot of statements, most of them uncritically echoed by western media without any demands for proof. Most every week he has reported on thousands of Russian troops and hundreds of tanks entering his country, probably in total adding up to a full mechanized division by now (if anyone bothered with a calculator). DN has broken a fundamental journalistic rule by simply conveying these obviously propagandistic fabrications, no questions asked.

Indeed, some of Yats’ statements have remained concealed, such as the one he delivered during a visit to Angela Merkel, where he certified that it was Russia that had attacked Germany in WWII, something “that would not be allowed to happen again”. Likewise hidden from public eyes by DN was the infamous claim by a Ukrainian Defense minister that Luhansk had been lost due to the Russians using nuclear weapons. What mainstream media yet not fully realize is that conspiratory and manipulating journalism in a longer run inexorably backfires in a world where more and more people will pick up the missing information on the Internet.

For a year now DN has fed its readers with an almost daily flow of these ill-founded, propagandistic and sometimes simply mendacious articles with the single aim to defame Russia and Putin. It has been an exhibition of low journalistic standards opposing the prime values that proper professional schools on the subject teach.

In this very moment a news flash reveals that Ukrainian forces are leaving Debaltseve (a city in trouble, obviously ignored by Poroshenko during the Minsk talks). Spokesmen for the “pro-Russian separatists” say – according to DN – that hundreds of government troops have surrendered to the rebels, “information not independently confirmed” (information from the other side never requires this reservation by DN).

Still there is a new tone in DN’s reporting just recently, illustrated by another article in today’s paper. Putin’s visit to Hungary was described in a short article without the usual demonizing distortion of facts. And maybe it generalizes.

New York Times has an informative article also today about the really catastrophic abyss in which Ukraine’s economy has fallen. The author points at some crucial sectors where Ukraine’s dependence of Russia for a long times has been decisive, and shows the devastating effects the breakup with Russia have had. After reading this text one is totally puzzled by the naivety the pro-western Ukrainians have shown in believing that western countries would even have the resources to compensate for this huge Russian economic dependency, let alone the political will to do it.

Maybe the naivety of western leaders when searching an easy propaganda victory by punching Putin in the face will rebound too. Hopefully we will see more sobriety in the days to come.

(If the simplest of solutions wasn’t self-evident: autonomy in any form for Donbas, Ukraine a neutral state, no NATO, no EU.)

Celebrating a liberation without the liberator

Today we read about Putin and the 70th anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz. I find two main versions of the story, the first one saying that Putin “Won’t attend…” (NYT) or “won’t go to…” (rt.com) the ceremonies in Poland. The main reason is claimed to be that no formal invitation has been sent to Russia. On the other hand, according to this version, no personal invitation has been sent to anyone, just notices to all embassies of EU nations and other countries that have contributed to the museum, among them Russia.

The other version is found in the usually very Russophobe Dagens Nyheter saying that Putin “is debarred from” the event. DN refers to a source in the Polish Foreign Office telling Reuters that formal invitations to specific countries have been sent by the authority responsible for the museum, together with the International Auschwitz Council. Countries not receiving a formal invitation, among them Russia, have just got an informal message, a so called nota verbale. The reason, according to the source, would be that Polish leaders didn’t want to formally invite Putin given the Ukraine conflict.

If the second version is the correct one, we will probably never hear about it again. In any case the commemoration of the liberation will take place with several heads of states and other distinguished officials, but in the absence of the proper representative of the liberator. It’s more remarkable than the US president being absent from a D-day 70 year commemoration. Russia had after all sacrificed millions and millions of lives before Auschwitz could be liberated, while their western allies had fought poorly motivated Germans on the west front for slightly more than half a year, during which time the Nazi army repeatedly had sent divisions from the west front to support the more important eastern front.

When they gather on January 27 it must feel odd for any of the highly distinguished guests attending – who happen to have some knowledge and scruples – that the highest representative for the nation in focus of the celebrations is not present. But on the other hand, our propaganda has worked persistently through the years, and the day will come when we are completely unaware of Russia’s role in WWII. Some are already there, like Hillary Clinton (at Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show) asserting that United States defeated the Nazis.

 

Stupid losses of invaluable lives in meaningless wars.

Who’s killing whom in Ukraine? The secessionists in the southeast obviously declared independence from a government which they considered illegal, hostile and even dangerous to them and their Russian language, culture and religion. Thus they occupied buildings, obtained arms and built barricades. But they didn’t kill anyone.

“We” (US and EU) had no objections to the violent street coup in Kiev spearheaded by neo-Nazis, who then got important seats in the resulting new government (with a Prime Minister picked by US diplomats). Nor did we react towards blatant anti-Russian statements and decisions made by that government and directed towards their own citizens living in the southeastern part of the country.

During this phase we could easily have calmed down the situation, since the Ukrainian leaders were completely in our hands. We did the opposite. After each visit by characters like the US Vice President, the head of CIA, the notorious John McCain and others, the Ukrainian military made new attacks, though in the beginning rather futile. But we helped instigate the atrocities to come.

The regular Ukrainian army had qualms against killing their own fellow countrymen. It was not until the ruthless neo-Nazi elements in the so called militia were engaged that the indiscriminate murdering of civilians took off. Shelling and bombing hit the population (a war crime, by the way) leading to what must be called ethnic cleansing, forcing by now probably one million Ukrainians to leave their homes; many of them their country. Still we had no objections to this tragic part of the conflict and its perpetrators.

We see only one villain, whom we harass with defamation and sanctions: Vladimir Putin. His administration had from the beginning a reluctant attitude towards the rebels, making them disappointed by denying them open support. In our Goebbels-like propaganda, though, it’s Russia and Putin who are waging the war in Ukraine. Russian hawks naturally prevent Putin from denying the rebels at least some real help, but still probably no decisive backup that could be pictured as waging a war.

To evaluate the moral content of the Russian behavior we have to compare with our own actions in similar situations. There happens to be a case as close to equivalent as history can provide, namely Kosovo, where an Albanian minority wanted the enclave seceded from Serbia. They got western support for this action and to implement the secession US bombed Belgrade and other parts of the country for 78 days, without UN authorization, killing an estimated 3,000 people. One pretext for the bombing was Serbia’s ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians, although these really started as a response to the US attacks.

Not only are we morally prevented from criticizing Russia for the secession of Crimea, since we have done exactly the same thing (at that expecting praise for it), we would neither possibly be in a position to morally condemn Putin if he got the bizarre idea to order bombing of Kiev for 78 days, as punishment for the obvious and lethal atrocities against civilians performed by Ukraine. But moral has no place in power games performed by militarily superior states. Putin cannot do the same things we have done; he has to do what we tell him.

This lack of moral principles is something that makes normal people sick, and we really don’t have to endure it. We just have to organize and overrule our governments. The problem is that power not only has the means of violence, but also has the propaganda tools that create our world view, unless we enlighten ourselves – together with others.

The second victim of war

The second victim of war seems to be the ability to think clearly.

“Putin is waging a war in Ukraine” wrote one journalist in our most mainstream paper recently, as if it was just self-evident. The combination of deep demagogy and shallow thinking we experience in our “enlightened” countries today will stun future historians. Not even the rebels started any war. They armed themselves in self-defense, but didn’t harm anyone. The war of aggression was launched by the Ukrainian leaders when they chose to meet their Russian speaking fellow countrymen’s grievances with deadly violence.

When the People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine were proclaimed Putin was from the very beginning hesitant to engage more actively with open support. That this stance has been upheld is clearly to show that the leaders in Russia are using their brains; thus concluding that there was nothing but problems for Russia to be gained from this uproar. Meanwhile we in the west avoided thinking, maintaining that Putin was about to invade Ukraine, an incredibly cretinous fantasy considering that such a step immediately would have engaged NATO’s entire military force which is some 15 times stronger than Russia’s. For us to believe such a thing Putin not only has to be stupid, he also has to be suicidal.

It could be claimed that a state has the right to use violence against armed insurgents, even domestic ones. Yes, but that’s in the first place why the Ukrainian leaders are the ones who’s waging a war. And secondly it’s a completely senseless way of trying to solve the real problems, unless the goal is to carry out total ethnic cleansing, driving everyone in the southeastern area out of the country, which of course is impossible.

Another consequence of war is obviously a hazardous shortsightedness. Ukrainians in the western and eastern parts of the country will have to live together in the future to come. For every day that passes the violence and the dead bodies on both sides will increase the hatred and thus aggravate the obstacles for a functioning agreement. The only solutions can come from negotiations, something that Putin has been pushing for tirelessly, others not.

Media in Sweden is almost unanimously propagandistic in favor of the attacking Ukrainian forces, spearheaded by neo-Nazis. No moral judgments are expressed about this so called militia’s ruthless killing of innocent civilians. No qualms are uttered whatsoever about the violent methods the Ukrainian leaders have chosen when met by understandable grievances from people in the southeast, which saw a government in Kiev formed after a coup and under supervision by US diplomats. The fact that this government included some neo-Nazi members and started by passing a law suppressing the Russian language hardly makes it inconceivable that the pro-Russian citizens in the southeast began to fear for their security and their possibilities to form their own lives.

The way our media palliates the Nazi connection is quite remarkable. Right now I happen to read Antony Beevor’s 1000-page book on World War II, published in 2012. In his view the Ukrainians were the ones most willing to help the German Nazis to liquidate Jews. He particularly mentions a method of extermination which he attributes to the Ukrainian Nazis. They simply locked people up in a house and sat it on fire. Those who tried to escape were killed. This shows an eerie resemblance with the horrible Odessa murders recently, where the same method was used.

Antisemitism has a long tradition in Ukraine, as has Nazi influences. The Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera is still honored by large groups wearing swastika-like symbols. One obvious reason for anti-Russian sentiments may have been Stalin’s horrible atrocities against the kulaks, costing more than three million lives. Beevor also mentions propaganda spread by Kremlin blaming the Jews for Ukraine’s hardship. The roots being whatever they are, in today’s Ukraine Nazism should be harshly condemned by democratic nations. In Anglo-Saxon (and Swedish) MSM this whole embarrassment is met with almost complete silence. To get a somewhat balanced approach to the Ukrainian issue these days, one has to look for a German newspaper (or The Nation, for instance).

Brainwashed lemmings towards the cliff?

Questions! Questions!

Are we really striving with open eyes and clear minds towards a major war in Europe? In that case, for what? Don’t we see those dead children in Gaza, with their small white faces and their mutilated bodies? Don’t we see the horror beaming from the eyes of the physically and mentally maimed small ones, many still babies? And despite that let a war in Europe come closer by each day, when we so easily could stop the march towards disaster? Are we utterly crazy?

And yes we, the so called western democracies which we think of as God’s masterpiece, indeed have the tools to change this development; first of all since we are the prime instigators of the whole mess which all started 25 years ago.

When the Soviet Union lost its power, to a large extent through popular struggle, we happily seized the opportunity by helping to break away fifteen new nations from the former super power. Then we approached those nations in attempts to bring them into our power field. (Among those Ukraine was the chief prize, according to a US official.)

For more than 40 years we had been taught that Soviet Communism, with its ambition to conquer the world, was the prime rot that had to be destroyed at any price. NATO was formed for this sole purpose, it was said. Well, the dreadful Soviet Communism disappeared overnight, and thereby the Warsaw Pact, but nothing logical followed. Instead NATO grew and expanded. We had been lied to, obviously.

It turned out that no one really had imagined the Soviet Union capable of conquering anything. The actual enemy was in fact all kinds of egalitarian politics, which threatened to distribute other countries’ assets to their own populations, instead of deliver them to their rightful owners, namely us.

Now we had a crippled Russia which first of all had to be purged from any trace of egalitarian delusion. A handful of US experts in that field (and a Swedish one) helped Yeltsin and Gaidar to give the country’s valuable assets away to a bunch of oligarchs, then force a steamroller over the Russian industry, totally crushing half of it, and in the process drive ten million people into death. It all seemed to run smoothly.

But then came Vladimir Putin and destroyed most of the joy. He reclaimed some of the nation’s wealth from the thieves, restored the public finances so that doctors and teachers who had been working for months and years without salary could be paid. In the process he also put an end to the genocide of the 1990s. Since then Putin naturally has been reelected with large majorities for 14 years in a row.

This was of course too much for us to chew. In our eyes Putin became the villain of the world, and Russia took over the Soviet role as enemy no. 1. That’s when we started to strike our claws into Ukraine in a rather aggressive way, totally neglecting the old ties between that country and Russia, and disregarding the Russian wishes not to have its prime enemy close to its borders.

During this conflict western moral has deteriorated severely. We have openly cooperated with pure Nazis and spread Ukrainian demagogy, disinformation and the silliest propaganda. We have swallowed the almost Goebbels-like claims that Ukrainian authority’s murdering of their own citizens, women and children, must be blamed on Putin. Not a single moral principle we apply on others (for instance Assad) is applied on the Ukrainian government, which apparently is engaged in ethnic cleansing, as hundreds of thousands of Donbas citizens are fleeing for their lives, many of them to Russia.

This absolutely uncritical and apologetic attitude towards the Ukrainian strongmen is our contribution to enhancing the risk of a war in Europe. We put all demands for restraints on Russia; they must not just obey our orders, they must be deprived every right to national security, and their natural interests must be neglected.

There are “doves” like Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski who recommend US and EU to guarantee Russia that Ukraine never will join NATO. That should be considered a minor concession from the West, but certainly a major contribution to detente. The fact that not even these two older statesmen make any impression on the Obama administration raises doubts about US intentions. Is a dangerous war in Europe a realistic option for this administration?

Ukraine’s killing by military: a reminder of Berlin 1953 – except for western reactions

Today’s horror-place is Mariupol in Ukraine where twenty “rebels” were shot dead by military countrymen. Swedish media treats this episode in a very calm and composed way so far. The casualties adds up to the other victims killed by their own people in uniform, by now exceeding the number killed in a comparable attack by military forces against a civil population, an atrocity giving rise to a completely different attention and one that we are not allowed to forget.

I’m referring to the worker’s uproar in East Germany in 1953, which we still are reminded of now and again. It started by a government proclamation that the production goal was to be raised by 10 percent without any income lift. By stepwise escalation finally some 100 thousand people gathered in Berlin for demonstrations, and by that time Soviet military were engaged. In direct confrontations 34 civilians were shot dead, with an additional 20 killed from other causes.

This terrible assault was rightly treated as an unforgivable crime. And it was naturally attributed to the regimes in Soviet and East Germany and viewed as typical for the monstrous Communists. I was just 12 years old by then but I remember the moral outrage in media against the horrible Communists. The years to come we were constantly reminded of the East German cruelties in an intense propaganda effort, to which was added the comparable atrocities performed by Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia in 1968.

The heated reporting in Swedish media as long as “Putin” was expected to invade Ukraine calmed down remarkably when the first civilians were killed by the military in Sloviansk, now followed by somewhat laid back commentaries on today’s horrible events.

Are there no limits on the hypocrisy of our journalist, one may really wonder?! They are in this respect not any different from the politruks in Pravda in the old days, with the exception that people in the Soviet Union didn’t trust their propagandists, while we are effectively brainwashed to believe freedom of expression to guarantee us truthful media, on the whole.

The most challenging question is why Swedish media, almost unanimously, make such efforts to instigate an atmosphere of war by vilifying Russia and Putin. And to do so by twisting every little piece of message till it points in the “right” direction. My paper lectures Putin almost daily on how to surrender his country’s interests the proper way. Russia is treated like a defeated enemy and it’s slightest claim on national interests are interpreted as aggression. The West obviously considered it completely normal that Russia’s important naval base in Crimea should be situated in a NATO-country, thus in one of the members of an organization primarily pointing its gigantic war machine against – Russia!

The lack of proposals for peaceful negotiations in our media is almost total. But as I mentioned below the one-eyed propagandists are balanced by informed readers in media’s commentary sections. This is the hope for the future.

Terribly stupid Cold War propaganda could end with terribly horrendous risks

Our public service television exerts in the same insidious propaganda on the Ukraine issue as the rest of MSM here. It works in fine-tuned details, in the careful choice of word, in subtle use of certain perspectives (though it still ends up in stupidities). Just to pick one example from yesterday: in the text-TV list of head-lines one could read: “Russia admits involvement.” Aha! Finally they confess to their responsibility for the unrest in eastern Ukraine! One looks up the article with certain anticipations – and finds something rather opposite.

The article was about the OSCE and Ukrainian hostages whom the pro-Russian activists had let free. Russia’s “involvement” had to do with the fact that a human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, had negotiated the release, together with a high western official (whose name I can’t find with a quick search now, tellingly enough). So, by performing a humane act, which no one in the west obviously had even tried, Russia admits its influence over the rebels! That’s the high level of intellect engaged in our propaganda model! Even Carl Bildt drew the same “brilliant” conclusion.

A simpler mind would have suggested that a Russian, or anybody else, just had to inform the activists that the hostage thing was very damaging to themselves and could contribute to nothing except bad PR. (So the release could possibly be viewed as a severe disappointment for warmongers of all kinds.)

To experience today’s naïve propaganda is wearying. It’s not just naïve but mostly outright silly, and epidemic at that. It’s taken as an axiom that Russia is bad and Putin a crook and hence that there is no reason to consider real facts or make any analysis. Journalists just have to construct stereotype sentences using templates from the former Cold War. And it becomes so terribly brainless.

In contrast to the original Cold War we can today enjoy reader’s comments in the newspapers web editions. Both in New York Times and in Dagens Nyheter (the Swedish NYT) those commentaries are highly informative in more than one way. Surprisingly large shares of the readers are nuanced, informed and analytic, thus critical towards the mostly propagandistic approach practiced by the journalists. These comments shed a promising light over the official propaganda machine, just as it gives hope for a more enlightened future.

This very day, May 5th, Ukraine is involving its military against its own population on a large scale. Thus the reporting here becomes more restrained (and the headline falls down in the text-TV list).  A civilized country using its military to fire live ammunition against its own population! And it seems not to be the most important issue. The focus is still on Russia, now with the question: when will they invade with troops?

What we experience is the logical outcome of a process that started with EU giving Ukraine an ultimatum to choose between Russia and itself as its future economic partner, thus more or less forcing Yanukovych to chose Russia (Putin had suggested a trilateral agreement which EU vetoed). To solely demonize Russia for this development is not just factually wrong, but worse still: leading nowhere but to horrible risks.

One horrible risk is that the point of no return is close…