Aletho News


The New York Times Squares off with the Truth, Again

By Michael Howard | American Herald Tribune | July 1, 2018

Whenever I’m having a rough day and need a pick-me-up, I turn to The New York Times’ editorial page. It’s always a gas to see how far the empire’s leading propaganda outfit is prepared to go in its mission to pull the wool over we the people’s gullible little eyes. The good editors have come through for me again with their latest entry, “Trump and Putin’s Too-Friendly Summit.” (Original title: “Trump and Putin: Best Frenemies for Life”). No doubt the original headline was deemed rather too impish for such a serious newspaper—it might, for instance, have alerted readers to the fact that the editorial’s content is not to be taken very seriously—and so was understandably jettisoned.

“One would think,” the editors write, “that the president of the United States would let Mr. Putin know that he faces a united front of Mr. Trump and his fellow NATO leaders, with whom he would have met days before the [Putin] summit in Helsinki.” Alas, during said meeting Trump reportedly remarked that “NATO is as bad as NAFTA”—the “free trade” agreement that has succeeded in decimating most of the manufacturing jobs spared by the automation wrecking ball. In other words, Trump does not necessarily think it’s a good idea to encircle Russia with a hostile military alliance whose existence, according to geopolitical expert Richard Sakwa, is “justified by the need to manage the security threats provoked by its enlargement.” (If you haven’t read Professor Sakwa’s comprehensive study of the Ukrainian crisis, Frontline Ukraine, put it at the top of your summer reading list.)

One notes the Turgidsonian delight with which the Times reminds us that, should push come to shove, we’ve got those Russki bastards outgunned. Of course, gullibles like you and I are to pay no mind to the fact that such a confrontation (a military one, for the Times brought up NATO) would almost certainly involve a nuclear exchange, rendering the disparity in manpower that so excites the Times totally meaningless. No, what’s important is that NATO has twenty-nine member states and counting, while the Warsaw Pact was dissolved twenty-seven years ago: ergo, unless he wants the old mailed fist, Putin had better ask “how high?” when we tell him to jump. One would be hard-pressed to come up with a more delusional assessment of where things stand.

In case any of its readers have been living under rocks (not so bad an idea in this day and age), the Times made sure to stress just how sinister “the Russian autocrat” is. To that end they touch upon, with signature glibness, “Mr. Putin’s seizure of Crimea and attack on Ukraine.” Later, the “attack on Ukraine” is upgraded to “the Ukraine invasion”—a charge dealt with most eloquently here. Omitted as a matter of course is Crimea’s complicated history, the issue of the Sevastopol naval bases, as well as numerous uncontroversial polls showing that the overwhelming majority of Crimeans (of whom an overwhelming majority are ethnic Russians) support “Mr. Putin’s seizure.”

According to Forbes, a February 2015 survey by German polling firm GfK asked of the Crimean population: “Do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea?” Eighty-two percent responded: “yes, definitely.” On the other hand, a whopping two percent responded: “no.” Seems plain enough. But hold the phone, says the New Cold Warrior, we can’t rule out the possibility that GfK is actually an arm of Putin’s Federal Security Service. Can you prove it isn’t? Didn’t think so.

Failing that, I think I recall reading something somewhere about an international principle called … what was it again? … “self-determination.” That’s it. Something to do with the bloody dismemberment of a certain former country in the Balkans in the nineties, spearheaded by our very own Uncle Sam. It’ll come back to me.

Deployed next by our great pandering Paper of Record are the increasingly monotonous claims that Moscow “interfered in the 2016 election to put [Trump] in office and is continuing to undermine American democracy.” If only we had a democracy to undermine, then this never-ending soap opera might have a little more going for it. Having, wisely, I think, adopted a wake-me-up-when-it’s-over attitude to “Russia-gate,” I’m simply not up to speed on the latest pseudo-bombshell reports that, on account of their utter want of journalistic merit, wind up being heavily redacted or retracted altogether. The whole scene has become too farcical for my taste. That said, I encourage still-interested parties to read the various counter narratives that fail to penetrate the mass media’s filters. This, for example.

But the board’s main concern in all this is that, according to them, Trump is “intent on eroding institutions that undergird democracy and peace.” To clarify, they’re referring to NATO again, or what they call “allied security.” It’s an obsession with these people. So let’s look at it a moment. I’ll give you a few well-known (but poorly understood) examples of NATO’s philanthropic work over the decades, since the Times forgot to include them in its editorial: namely, the illegal bombing of Yugoslavia, the illegal invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and the illegal “humanitarian” intervention in Libya. After I’m finished writing this, I must write the Times to notify them that they printed a typo: they obviously meant to write “undermine,” not “undergird.”

It boils down to this: NATO is good because it’s us. Trump is bad because he’s ambivalent about NATO. If Trump succeeds in “eroding” NATO, the beneficiary is Putin, “whose goal is to fracture the West and assert Russian influence in places where Americans and Europeans have played big roles, like the Middle East …” Given the outcomes of those “big roles” (9/11, the destruction of whole countries, ISIS, a flourishing slave trade, a migrant crisis of biblical proportions, mass famine, the tragedy of Gaza, the death of the two-state solution, the list goes on), it’s hard to imagine Putin, or anyone else, for that matter, doing any worse. So here’s a modest proposal: Washington sells its empire to Moscow and gets out of the world domination business for good. God knows we need the money. Unfortunately, Putin is no more interested in ruling over a global empire than we are in relinquishing one. (Fun fact: on defense, the US outspends Russia by about $540 billion.)

As Sakwa explains, “Putin’s challenge is not to the system of international politics but only to what he considers its skewed and selective operation in favor of the Atlantic system.”

“The Russian autocrat” has been, for a long time, crystal clear on this point. Far from harboring Washington-style fantasies of imperial glory, his is a vision of a multipolar world order in which the leading powers engage in serious diplomacy and coordinate their efforts to address the major economic, security and environmental issues confronting us all. Then there’s Trump: “But our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security. It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.” (Emphasis mine.) Between insane rhetoric like that and NATO’s incessant (and equally insane) provocations along Russia’s western front, I think it’s fair to say Putin has shown an admirable degree of composure.

In their final flurry, the Times editors make some big-sounding statements about the need to prevent another nuclear arms race, duly omitting that the US is on track to spend more than $1 trillion over the next three decades modernizing and diversifying its nuclear arsenal (and no, we can’t pin this one on Trump). Then, flailing now, punching wide, they managed to project responsibility for the breakdown of the flawed Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty squarely onto Russia, duly omitting that the US, by continuing to install provocative missile defense systems across Eastern Europe, is in constant violation of the treaty. Inconvenient truths, I regret to say, are still truths; and lies by omission are still lies.

But let us not stray from the bottom line: Russia is the threat. Russia is the threat. Russia is the threat. If you say it enough times you might start to believe it—and then, and only then, can you count yourself among the good upright citizens of this great indispensable nation.

July 1, 2018 - Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , ,

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