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Propaganda During Times of War

The Postil Magazine,  Anne Morelli

This article, by Anne Morelli, is here translated for the first time complete. It is based on her monograph, Principes élémentaires de propagande de guerre (utilisables en cas de guerre froide, chaude ou tiède)The Basic Principles of War Propaganda (For Use in Case of War, cold, hot, or warm), which was first published in 2001 and then revised and republished in 2010 to include the war in Afghanistan and Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech.

Morelli’s ten principles, or “commandments” are often accredited to Lord Arthur Ponsonby. Rather, Morelli summarized Ponsonby’s work, Falsehood in War-Time to formulate them.

The current Russian-Ukrainian conflict is just the latest iteration of the immense reach of war propaganda to fashion consent, in the form of ready sacrifice of blood and treasure.

…………………. Ponsonby’s Ten Commandments

The principles identified by Ponsonby can be easily stated as ten “commandments.” I will state them here, and we will see for each of them to what extent they have been applied by NATO’s propaganda services.

  1. We do not want war
  2. The other side is solely responsible for the war
  3. The enemy has the face of the devil (or in the order of “ugly”)
  4. The real aims of the war must be masked under noble causes
  5. The enemy knowingly commits atrocities. If we commit blunders, they are unintentional
  6. We suffer very few losses. The enemy’s losses are enormous
  7. Our cause is sacred
  8. Artists and intellectuals support our cause
  9. The enemy uses illegal weapons
  10. Those who question our propaganda are traitors

1. We Do Not Want War

Arthur Ponsonby had early noticed that the statesmen of all countries, before declaring war or at the very moment of this declaration, always solemnly assured as a preliminary that they did not want war. ………….

2. The Other Side is Solely Responsible for the War

Ponsonby noted this paradox of the First World War, which can also be found in many previous wars: each side claimed to have been forced to declare war to prevent the other from setting the planet on fire. Each government would loudly declare the aporia that sometimes war is necessary to end wars………..

,…………..  in the case of this second principle (“it is the other who wanted the war”), it is obvious that it has been applied many times during the NATO war against Yugoslavia……………………..

…. The Franco-Belgian weekly Le Vif-Express ran this headline: “The dictator of Belgrade has a crushing responsibility in the misfortunes of the Serbian and Albanian people.” The insistence on the person of the leader of the enemy camp is not a coincidence. Ponsonby’s third principle insists on the need to personify the enemy in the person of its leader.

3. The Enemy has the Face of the Devil

It is not possible to hate a whole people globally. It is therefore effective to concentrate this hatred of the enemy on the opposing leader. The enemy thus has a face, and this face is obviously odious…………..

………..  as far as possible, it is necessary to demonize this enemy leader, to present him as a madman, a barbarian, an infernal criminal, a butcher, a disturber of peace, an enemy of humanity, a monster. ………….

Since the Second World War, Hitler has been considered such a paradigm of evil, that any enemy leader must be compared to him. ……………………………..

4. The Real Aims of the War must be Masked under Noble Causes

Ponsonby had noted for the 1914-1918 war that one never spoke, in the official texts of belligerents, of the economic or geopolitical objectives of the conflict. Not a word was said officially about the colonial aspirations, for example, that Great Britain expected and which would be fulfilled by an Allied victory. Officially, on the Anglo-French side, the goals of the First World War were summarized in three points:

  • to crush militarism
  • to defend small nations
  • to prepare the world for democracy

……………………………. One might innocently ask what connection there can be between the defense of oppressed minorities and the free movement of capital, but the first type of discourse obviously conceals less avowed economic goals. Thus, 12 large American companies, including Ford Motor, General Motors and Honeywell, sponsored the 50th anniversary summit of NATO in Washington, in the spring of 1999.

……….. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea announced that the cost of the military operation against Yugoslavia would be more than offset by the longer-term benefits that the markets could realize.

…………. This is also one of the basic principles of war propaganda: the war must be presented as a conflict between civilization and barbarism. To do this, it is necessary to persuade the public that the enemy systematically and voluntarily commits atrocities, while our side can only commit involuntary blunders..

5. The Enemy Knowingly Commits Atrocities. If We Commit Blunders, They are Unintentional

Stories of atrocities committed by the enemy are an essential part of war propaganda. This is not to say, of course, that atrocities do not occur during wars. On the contrary, murder, armed robbery, arson, looting and rape seem to be commonplace in all circumstances of war and the practice of all armies, from those of antiquity to the wars of the 20th century. What is specific to war propaganda, however, is to make people believe that only the enemy is accustomed to these acts, while our own army is at the service of the population, even the enemy, and is loved by them.

6. We Suffer very few Losses. The Enemy’s Losses are Enormous

During the Battle of Britain in 1940, the British greatly “overestimated” the number of German planes shot down by British fighter and the D.C.A………………………………………………..

7. Our Cause is Sacred

God’s support for a cause is always an important asset, and for as long as religions have existed, we have happily killed each other in the name of God. War propaganda must obviously make public opinion believe that “God is on our side;………………………………………..

8. Artists and Intellectuals Support our Cause

During the First World War, with a few rare exceptions, intellectuals massively supported their own side.

9. The Enemy uses Illegal Weapons

There is nothing like affirming the deceitfulness of the enemy in war propaganda by assuring that he fights with “immoral” and condemnable weapons………………………………………

During NATO’s war against Yugoslavia, this old principle of war propaganda, noted by Ponsonby, was reused. Indeed, when the Yugoslavs revealed in June 1999 the use by NATO of depleted uranium weapons, with immeasurable human and ecological consequences, it was not necessary to wait long for the response. By August 1999, the Western media claimed that the Yugoslavs had used chemical weapons in Kosovo, thereby transgressing the rules of “civilized” war.

10. Those who Question our Propaganda are Traitors

Ponsonby’s last principle is that those who do not participate in the official propaganda should be ostracized and suspected of intelligence with the enemy.

Conclusion

As we can see from these examples, the ten “commandments” of war propaganda described by Ponsonby have lost none of their relevance in almost a century. Have they been applied intuitively by NATO propaganda officers or by following the grid that we ourselves have followed? It is always risky to think that propaganda is built by systematically staging it, according to a meticulous plan; and one would rather believe that the possibility of improvement has criss-crossed the old Ponsonby principles……………. Anne Morelli is a Belgian historian at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).  https://www.thepostil.com/propaganda-during-times-of-war

May 7, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, media, spinbuster | 1 Comment

A new propaganda film to jolly up the pro nuclear enthusiasts

‘Atomic Hope: Inside the Pro-Nuclear Movement’ Review: Uncritical Doc Empowers a Controversial Energy Solution

While intriguing, this Irish documentary’s boosterism doesn’t really provide a thorough argument for embracing the nuke.

Variety, by Dennis Harvey 4 May 22, ……………………….. in recent years, some voices have argued that nuclear power is in fact humanity’s best option to meet its energy requirements amid escalating environmental and resource crises.

It’s an intriguing if unpopular viewpoint that merits clear explanation and debate, things that “Atomic Hope” ultimately does not provide. 

Irish filmmaker Frankie Fenton’s second feature, following the much more intimately focused “It’s Not Yet Dark,” chooses to focus primarily on pro-nuke advocates and their uphill public campaigns — as opposed to the pro-nuke arguments themselves, which are never rigorously addressed. Nor are opponents heard from at all. The result is a slick globe-trotting documentary that holds attention, yet doesn’t really leave the viewer more enlightened on the subject at hand than they were before.

…………………………  Among those enthusiastic about nuclear being the safest, cleanest and most productive energy option going forward are leaders from disparate advocacy orgs Thorium Energy Alliance, Generation Atomic and Mothers for Nuclear.

……………..  A major figure in “Atomic Hope” is author and recurrent California political candidate Michael Shellenberger. He’s presented as a plucky, good-humored rebel for his more combative stances as an “ecomodernist,” notably raining on the parade of those championing “renewables,” i.e. wind and solar power. The film entirely sidesteps the controversy of his views among many environmental scientists and academics who’ve termed them misleading or inflammatory.

Indeed, even as it sprawls from San Francisco to Manila, “Atomic Hope” somehow eludes the harder questions that might have both challenged and ballasted the stances of proponents onscreen. We don’t doubt the genuineness of their concern or activism, but the full evidence isn’t here to win us over. While it finds some colorful personalities and situations to capture (notably some desperate ploys for public attention), the film errs in assuming activists themselves merit central focus when their cause itself remains so poorly understood.

At heart it’s a documentary for the converted, at a time when most viewers will still require converting. ………………….https://variety.com/2022/film/reviews/atomic-hope-inside-the-pro-nuclear-movement-review-1235257555/

May 5, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear lobby continues to infiltrate education

U.S. Department of Energy funds nuclear engineering scholarships at Missouri S&T by Nancy Bowles
On May 3, 2022

………. “The DOE’s support shows the importance of the work our students are doing to promote nuclear energy as a sustainable resource for decades to come,” says Dr. Ayodeji Alajo, interim chair of nuclear engineering and radiation science at Missouri S&T. “We are thankful for this recognition and hope to continue to build the relationship we enjoy with the DOE.”…………..
.…………..  The awards are provided through the Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE) University Nuclear Leadership Program (UNLP) and include 61 undergraduate scholarships and 28 graduate fellowships for students at 32 colleges and universities in 23 states. Prior to 2021, UNLP was known as Integrated University Program. Missouri S&T students have received program scholarships several times in the past few years…………   https://news.mst.edu/2022/05/u-s-department-of-energy-funds-nuclear-engineering-scholarships-at-missouri-st/

May 5, 2022 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

Who Profits From Narrative Management & Eliminating Dissent?

Who Profits From Narrative Management & Eliminating Dissent?   went2thebridge – Organizing and actions to resist the moral and financial  bankrupting of the U.S. through wars against the poor, at home and abroad 18 Apr 22,

When the Pentagon summons the heads of eight weapons manufacturing corporations to a classified meeting about “aid” to Ukraine, you can be sure that a whole lot more Ukranians will be dying in their civil war on steroids.

This type of aid is in reality U.S. taxpayer-funded corporate welfare for the likes of Lockheed and Raytheon, whose former board member is our current Secretary of “Defense.” The aid has been flowing so thick and fast since Russia intervened in the CIA-sponsored war on its doorstep that it’s hard to add it all up quickly enough. One tally this week put the total at $1.7 billion!

Also, why limit these already wealthy corporate entities to feeding from just the U.S. trough? Zero Hedge reports: “Besides replenishing stockpiles sent to Ukraine, the companies stand to gain from European countries increasing military spending in the wake of Russia’s invasion.”

I believe this cash bonanza explains the barrage of propaganda that liberals have fallen for hook, line, and sinker.

You would think that those who value free speech would be alarmed by the burgeoning online censorship that many independent journalists have noted. 

Consider the case of Michael J. Brenner, “Professor Emeritus of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh and a Fellow of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS/Johns Hopkins, as well as former Director of the International Relations & Global Studies Program at the University of Texas” according to an interview in scheerpost:

……………  In an email with the subject line “Quittin’ Time,” Brenner recently declared that, aside from having already said his piece on Ukraine, one of the main reasons he sees for giving up on expressing his opinions on the subject is that “it is manifestly obvious that

our society is not capable of conducting an honest, logical, reasonably informed discourse on matters of consequence. Instead, we experience fantasy, fabrication, fatuousness and fulmination.” He goes on to decry President Joe Biden’s alarming comments in Poland when he all but revealed that the U.S. is—and perhaps has always been—interested in a Russian regime change [emphasis mine]. 

Or how about Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector who sifts through the foggy “facts” of war to discern some truth, who had his Twitter account suspended twice in one week. Based on what he knows about the grisly details of bodies left to rot in the street, he doubted that Russian soldiers could have committed the crimes before their exit from Bucha and speculated that Ukranian militias were the only ones in the area at the time of the massacre.

Cue liberals insisting that Twitter is not the government and therefore can censor anything it likes without violating the 1st amendment. Do they not know that Twitter, Facebook/Meta, Google/YouTube, and other platforms work hand in glove with the federal government to manage the narrative or, when that fails, to eliminate dissenting views

Are they fooled by mainstream media like the Washington Post, now owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, ironically sporting the tagline “Democracy Dies in Darkness”? 

Or do they know and not care because they’re more interested in the former president and other right-wingers being denied platforms for their views than they are interested in actual free speech?

From media watcher Caitlin Johnstone:

what exactly is the argument for censoring wrongthink about the Ukraine war? Even if we pretend that everything they’re saying is 100% false and completely immoral, so what? What harm is being done? …………

Political action and the players behind it — at every level — becomes more murky by the day. Forgive this boomer for saying, back in the day we thought a free press was foundational to reign in the excesses of the wealthy and powerful, by shining a light into their dark doings. 

But late stage capitalism demands fealty to profits above all else. Even, or maybe especially, when the leader of the “free world” is busy shooting himself and his cronies in the foot.

April 19, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

How Much Are We Prepared To Sacrifice To Help The US Win A Propaganda War Against Putin?

Once “journalists” accepted that their most important job is not to tell the truth but to keep people from thinking bad thoughts about the status quo political system, it was inevitable that they’d start enthuHow Much Are We Prepared To Sacrifice To Help The US Win A Propaganda War Against Putin?siastically cheerleading for more internet censorship. They see it as their duty, which is why now the leading proponents of online censorship are corporate media reporters.

This is a conversation which should already have been going on in mainstream circles for some time now, but it never even started. Let’s start it


  https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/how-much-are-we-prepared-to-sacrifice?s=w Caitlin Johnston 17 Apr 22. One severely under-discussed aspect of the latest round of escalations in Silicon Valley censorship which began at the start of the Ukraine war is the fact that it’s an entirely unprecedented order of censorship protocol. While it might look similar to all the other waves of social media purges and new categories of banned content that we’ve been experiencing since it became mainstream doctrine after the 2016 US election that tech platforms need to strictly regulate online speech, the justifications for it have taken a drastic deviation from established patterns.

What sets this new censorship escalation apart from its predecessors is that this time nobody’s pretending that it’s being done in the interests of the people. With the censorship of racists the argument was that they were inciting hate crimes and racial harassment. With the censorship of Alex Jones and QAnon the argument was that they were inciting violence. With the censorship of Covid skeptics the argument was that they were promoting misinformation that could be deadly. Even with the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story it was argued that there was a need to protect election integrity from disinformation of potentially foreign origin.

With censorship relating to the Ukraine war there is no argument that it’s being done to help the people. There is no case to be made that letting people say wrong things about this war kills Ukrainians, Americans, or anyone else. There is no case to be made that disputing claims about Russian war crimes will damage America’s democratic processes. It’s just, “Well we can’t have people saying wrong things about a war, can we?”

Ask a properly brainwashed liberal why they support the censorship of someone who disputes US narratives about Russian war crimes in Bucha or Mariupol and they’ll probably tell you something like “Well, it’s disinformation!” or “Because it’s propaganda!” or “How much is Putin paying you??” But what they won’t be able to do is articulate exactly what specific harm is being done by such speech in the same way that they could when defending the censorship of Covid skeptics or the factions responsible for last year’s riot in the Capitol building. 

But what does that mean exactly? It means if we accept this argument we’re knowingly consenting to a situation where all the major news outlets, websites and apps that people look to for information about the world are geared not toward telling us true things about reality, but toward beating Vladimir Putin in some weird psywar. It means abandoning any ambitions of being a truth-based civilization that is guided by facts, and instead accepting an existence as a propaganda-based civilization geared toward making sure we all think thoughts that hurt Moscow’s long-term strategic interests.

And it’s just absolutely freakish that this is a decision that has already been made for us, without any public discussion as to whether or not that’s the kind of society we want to live in. They jumped right from “We’re censoring speech to protect you from violence and viruses” to “We’re censoring speech to help our government conduct information warfare against a foreign adversary.” Without skipping a beat.

Continue reading

April 18, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

In Ukraine, with the blessing of the Western countries, those who are in favor of a negotiation have been eliminated – Jacques Baud

Retired Swiss Military-Intelligence Officer. Is it possible to actually know what has been and is going on in Ukraine? Jacques Baud, The Unz Review 02 Apr 2022

” ……………………………. Conclusions. As an ex-intelligence professional, the first thing that strikes me is the total absence of Western intelligence services in accurately representing the situation over the past year. In fact, it seems that throughout the Western world intelligence services have been overwhelmed by the politicians. The problem is that it is the politicians who decide — the best intelligence service in the world is useless if the decision-maker does not listen. This is what has happened during this crisis.

That said, while a few intelligence services had a very accurate and rational picture of the situation, others clearly had the same picture as that propagated by our media. The problem is that, from experience, I have found them to be extremely bad at the analytical level — doctrinaire, they lack the intellectual and political independence necessary to assess a situation with military “quality.”

Second, it seems that in some European countries, politicians have deliberately responded ideologically to the situation. That is why this crisis has been irrational from the beginning. It should be noted that all the documents that were presented to the public during this crisis were presented by politicians based on commercial sources.

Some Western politicians obviously wanted there to be a conflict. In the United States, the attack scenarios presented by Anthony Blinken to the UN Security Council were only the product of the imagination of a Tiger Team working for him — he did exactly as Donald Rumsfeld did in 2002, who “bypassed” the CIA and other intelligence services that were much less assertive about Iraqi chemical weapons.

The dramatic developments we are witnessing today have causes that we knew about but refused to see:

  • on the strategic level, the expansion of NATO (which we have not dealt with here);
  • on the political level, the Western refusal to implement the Minsk Agreements;
  • and operationally, the continuous and repeated attacks on the civilian population of the Donbass over the past years and the dramatic increase in late February 2022.

In other words, we can naturally deplore and condemn the Russian attack. But WE (that is: the United States, France and the European Union in the lead) have created the conditions for a conflict to break out. We show compassion for the Ukrainian people and the two million refugees. That is fine. But if we had had a modicum of compassion for the same number of refugees from the Ukrainian populations of Donbass massacred by their own government and who sought refuge in Russia for eight years, none of this would probably have happened.

Whether the term “genocide” applies to the abuses suffered by the people of Donbass is an open question. The term is generally reserved for cases of greater magnitude (Holocaust, etc.). But the definition given by the Genocide Convention is probably broad enough to apply to this case.

Clearly, this conflict has led us into hysteria. Sanctions seem to have become the preferred tool of our foreign policies. If we had insisted that Ukraine abide by the Minsk Agreements, which we had negotiated and endorsed, none of this would have happened. Vladimir Putin’s condemnation is also ours. There is no point in whining afterwards — we should have acted earlier. However, neither Emmanuel Macron (as guarantor and member of the UN Security Council), nor Olaf Scholz, nor Volodymyr Zelensky have respected their commitments. In the end, the real defeat is that of those who have no voice.

The European Union was unable to promote the implementation of the Minsk agreements — on the contrary, it did not react when Ukraine was bombing its own population in the Donbass. Had it done so, Vladimir Putin would not have needed to react. Absent from the diplomatic phase, the EU distinguished itself by fueling the conflict. On February 27, the Ukrainian government agreed to enter into negotiations with Russia. But a few hours later, the European Union voted a budget of 450 million euros to supply arms to the Ukraine, adding fuel to the fire. From then on, the Ukrainians felt that they did not need to reach an agreement. The resistance of the Azov militia in Mariupol even led to a boost of 500 million euros for weapons.

In Ukraine, with the blessing of the Western countries, those who are in favor of a negotiation have been eliminated.This is the case of Denis Kireyev, one of the Ukrainian negotiators, assassinated on March 5 by the Ukrainian secret service (SBU) because he was too favorable to Russia and was considered a traitor. The same fate befell Dmitry Demyanenko, former deputy head of the SBU’s main directorate for Kiev and its region, who was assassinated on March 10 because he was too favorable to an agreement with Russia — he was shot by the Mirotvorets (“Peacemaker”) militia. This militia is associated with the Mirotvorets website, which lists the “enemies of Ukraine,” with their personal data, addresses and telephone numbers, so that they can be harassed or even eliminated; a practice that is punishable in many countries, but not in the Ukraine. The UN and some European countries have demanded the closure of this site — but that demand was refused by the Rada [Ukrainian parliament].

In the end, the price will be high, but Vladimir Putin will likely achieve the goals he set for himself. We have pushed him into the arms of China. His ties with Beijing have solidified. China is emerging as a mediator in the conflict. The Americans have to ask Venezuela and Iran for oil to get out of the energy impasse they have put themselves in — and the United States has to piteously backtrack on the sanctions imposed on its enemies.

Western ministers who seek to collapse the Russian economy and make the Russian people suffer, or even call for the assassination of Putin, show (even if they have partially reversed the form of their words, but not the substance!) that our leaders are no better than those we hate — sanctioning Russian athletes in the Para-Olympic Games or Russian artists has nothing to do with fighting Putin.

What makes the conflict in Ukraine more blameworthy than our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya? What sanctions have we adopted against those who deliberately lied to the international community in order to wage unjust, unjustified and murderous wars? Have we adopted a single sanction against the countries, companies or politicians who are supplying weapons to the conflict in Yemen, considered to be the “worst humanitarian disaster in the world?”

To ask the question is to answer it… and the answer is not pretty.

About the author

Jacques Baud is a former colonel of the General Staff, ex-member of the Swiss strategic intelligence, specialist on Eastern countries. He was trained in the American and British intelligence services. He has served as Policy Chief for United Nations Peace Operations. As a UN expert on rule of law and security institutions, he designed and led the first multidimensional UN intelligence unit in the Sudan. He has worked for the African Union and was for 5 years responsible for the fight, at NATO, against the proliferation of small arms. He was involved in discussions with the highest Russian military and intelligence officials just after the fall of the USSR. Within NATO, he followed the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and later participated in programs to assist the Ukraine. He is the author of several books on intelligence, war and terrorism, in particular Le Détournement published by SIGEST, Gouverner par les fake newsL’affaire Navalny. His latest book is Poutine, maître du jeu? published by Max Milo.

This article appears through the gracious courtesy of Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement, Paris. more https://www.sott.net/article/466340-Retired-Swiss-Military-Intelligence-Officer-Is-it-Possible-to-Actually-Know-What-Has-Been-And-is-Going-on-in-Ukraine

April 16, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Recent history sheds light on the Ukraine situation . Part Three- Denazification

Retired Swiss Military-Intelligence Officer. Is it possible to actually know what has been and is going on in Ukraine?
Jacques Baud, The Unz Review 02 Apr 2022


”………………………………………………………………….. Denazification

In cities like Kharkov, Mariupol and Odessa, the Ukrainian defense is provided by the paramilitary militias. They know that the objective of “denazification” is aimed primarily at them. For an attacker in an urbanized area, civilians are a problem. This is why Russia is seeking to create humanitarian corridors to empty cities of civilians and leave only the militias, to fight them more easily.

Conversely, these militias seek to keep civilians in the cities from evacuating in order to dissuade the Russian army from fighting there. This is why they are reluctant to implement these corridors and do everything to ensure that Russian efforts are unsuccessful — they use the civilian population as “human shields.” Videos showing civilians trying to leave Mariupol and beaten up by fighters of the Azov regiment are of course carefully censored by the Western media.

On Facebook, the Azov group was considered in the same category as the Islamic State [ISIS] and subject to the platform’s “policy on dangerous individuals and organizations.” It was therefore forbidden to glorify its activities, and “posts” that were favorable to it were systematically banned. But on February 24, Facebook changed its policy and allowed posts favorable to the militia. In the same spirit, in March, the platform authorized, in the former Eastern countries, calls for the murder of Russian soldiers and leaders. So much for the values that inspire our leaders.

Our media propagate a romantic image of popular resistance by the Ukrainian people. It is this image that led the European Union to finance the distribution of arms to the civilian population. In my capacity as head of peacekeeping at the UN, I worked on the issue of civilian protection. We found that violence against civilians occurred in very specific contexts. In particular, when weapons are abundant and there are no command structures.

These command structures are the essence of armies: their function is to channel the use of force towards an objective. By arming citizens in a haphazard manner, as is currently the case, the EU is turning them into combatants, with the consequential effect of making them potential targets. Moreover, without command, without operational goals, the distribution of arms leads inevitably to settling of scores, banditry and actions that are more deadly than effective. War becomes a matter of emotions. Force becomes violence. This is what happened in Tawarga (Libya) from 11 to 13 August 2011, where 30,000 black Africans were massacred with weapons parachuted (illegally) by France. By the way, the British Royal Institute for Strategic Studies (RUSI) does not see any added value in these arms deliveries.

Moreover, by delivering arms to a country at war, one exposes oneself to being considered a belligerent. The Russian strikes of March 13, 2022, against the Mykolayev air base follow Russian warnings that arms shipments would be treated as hostile targets.

The EU is repeating the disastrous experience of the Third Reich in the final hours of the Battle of Berlin.War must be left to the military and when one side has lost, it must be admitted. And if there is to be resistance, it must be led and structured. But we are doing exactly the opposite — we are pushing citizens to go and fight, and at the same time, Facebook authorizes calls for the murder of Russian soldiers and leaders. So much for the values that inspire us.

Some intelligence services see this irresponsible decision as a way to use the Ukrainian population as cannon fodder to fight Vladimir Putin’s Russia. It would have been better to engage in negotiations and thus obtain guarantees for the civilian population than to add fuel to the fire. It is easy to be combative with the blood of others.

4. The Maternity Hospital At Mariupol

It is important to understand beforehand that it is not the Ukrainian army that is defending Mariupol, but the Azov militia, composed of foreign mercenaries.

In its March 7, 2022 summary of the situation, the Russian UN mission in New York stated that “Residents report that Ukrainian armed forces expelled staff from the Mariupol city birth hospital No. 1 and set up a firing post inside the facility.” On March 8, the independent Russian media Lenta.ru, publishedthe testimony of civilians from Mariupol who told that the maternity hospital was taken over by the militia of the Azov regimentand who drove out the civilian occupants by threatening them with their weapons. They confirmed the statements of the Russian ambassador a few hours earlier.

The hospital in Mariupol occupies a dominant position, perfectly suited for the installation of anti-tank weapons and for observation. On 9 March, Russian forces struck the building. According to CNN, 17 people were wounded, but the images do not show any casualties in the building and there is no evidence that the victims mentioned are related to this strike. There is talk of children, but in reality, there is nothing. This does not prevent the leaders of the EU from seeing this as a war crime. And this allows Zelensky to call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

In reality, we do not know exactly what happened. But the sequence of events tends to confirm that Russian forces struck a position of the Azov regiment and that the maternity ward was then free of civilians.

The problem is that the paramilitary militias that defend the cities are encouraged by the international community not to respect the rules of war. It seems that the Ukrainians have replayed the scenario of the Kuwait City maternity hospital in 1990, which was totally staged by the firm Hill & Knowlton for $10.7 million in order to convince the United Nations Security Council to intervene in Iraq for Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Western politicians have accepted civilian strikes in the Donbass for eight years without adopting any sanctions against the Ukrainian government. We have long since entered a dynamic where Western politicians have agreed to sacrifice international law towards their goal of weakening Russia………………. more https://www.sott.net/article/466340-Retired-Swiss-Military-Intelligence-Officer-Is-it-Possible-to-Actually-Know-What-Has-Been-And-is-Going-on-in-Ukraine

April 16, 2022 Posted by | politics, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Recent history sheds light on the Ukraine situation . Part Two Outbreak of war.

Retired Swiss Military-Intelligence Officer. Is it possible to actually know what has been and is going on in Ukraine?

Jacques Baud, The Unz Review, 04 Apr 2022
Part Two: The War

As a former head of analysis of Warsaw Pact forces in the Swiss strategic intelligence service, I observe with sadness — but not astonishment — that our services are no longer able to understand the military situation in Ukraine. The self-proclaimed “experts” who parade on our TV screens tirelessly relay the same information modulated by the claim that Russia — and Vladimir Putin — is irrational. Let’s take a step back.

1. The Outbreak Of War

Since November 2021, the Americans have been constantly threatening a Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, the Ukrainians at first did not seem to agree. Why not?

We have to go back to March 24, 2021. On that day, Volodymyr Zelensky issued a decree for the recapture of the Crimea, and began to deploy his forces to the south of the country. At the same time, several NATO exercises were conducted between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, accompanied by a significant increase in reconnaissance flights along the Russian border. Russia then conducted several exercises to test the operational readiness of its troops and to show that it was following the evolution of the situation.

Things calmed down until October-November with the end of the ZAPAD 21 exercises, whose troop movements were interpreted as a reinforcement for an offensive against Ukraine. However, even the Ukrainian authorities refuted the idea of Russian preparations for a war, and Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukrainian Minister of Defense, states that there had been no change on its border since the spring.

In violation of the Minsk Agreements, Ukraine was conducting air operations in Donbass using drones, including at least one strike against a fuel depot in Donetsk in October 2021. The American press noted this, but not the Europeans; and no one condemned these violations.

In February 2022, events came to a head. On February 7, during his visit to Moscow, Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed to Vladimir Putin his commitment to the Minsk Agreements, a commitment he would repeat after his meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky the next day. But on February 11, in Berlin, after nine hours of work, the meeting of political advisors to the leaders of the “Normandy format” ended without any concrete result: the Ukrainians still refused to apply the Minsk Agreements, apparently under pressure from the United States. Vladimir Putin noted that Macron had made empty promises and that the West was not ready to enforce the agreements, the same opposition to a settlement it had exhibited for eight years.

Ukrainian preparations in the contact zone continued. The Russian Parliament became alarmed; and on February 15 it asked Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the Republics, which he initially refused to do.

On 17 February, President Joe Biden announced that Russia would attack Ukraine in the next few days. How did he know this? It is a mystery. But since the 16th, the artillery shelling of the population of Donbass had increased dramatically, as the daily reports of the OSCE observers show. Naturally, neither the media, nor the European Union, nor NATO, nor any Western government reacted or intervened. It would be said later that this was Russian disinformation. In fact, it seems that the European Union and some countries have deliberately kept silent about the massacre of the Donbass population, knowing that this would provoke a Russian intervention.

At the same time, there were reports of sabotage in the Donbass. On 18 January, Donbass fighters intercepted saboteurs, who spoke Polish and were equipped with Western equipment and who were seeking to create chemical incidents in Gorlivka. They could have been CIA mercenaries, led or “advised” by Americans and composed of Ukrainian or European fighters, to carry out sabotage actions in the Donbass Republics.

In fact, as early as February 16, Joe Biden knew that the Ukrainians had begun intense shelling the civilian population of Donbass, forcing Vladimir Putin to make a difficult choice: to help Donbass militarily and create an international problem, or to stand by and watch the Russian-speaking people of Donbass being crushed.

If he decided to intervene, Putin could invoke the international obligation of “Responsibility To Protect” (R2P). But he knew that whatever its nature or scale, the intervention would trigger a storm of sanctions. Therefore, whether Russian intervention were limited to the Donbass or went further to put pressure on the West over the status of the Ukrainethe price to pay would be the same. This is what he explained in his speech on February 21. On that day, he agreed to the request of the Duma and recognized the independence of the two Donbass Republics and, at the same time, he signed friendship and assistance treaties with them.

The Ukrainian artillery bombardment of the Donbass population continued, and, on 23 February, the two Republics asked for military assistance from Russia. On 24 February, Vladimir Putin invoked Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which provides for mutual military assistance in the framework of a defensive alliance.

In order to make the Russian intervention seem totally illegal in the eyes of the public, Western powers deliberately hid the fact that the war actually started on February 16. The Ukrainian army was preparing to attack the Donbass as early as 2021, as some Russian and European intelligence services were well aware.

In his speech of February 24, Vladimir Putin stated the two objectives of his operation: “demilitarize” and “denazify” the Ukraine. So, it was not a question of taking over Ukraine, nor even, presumably, of occupying it; and certainly not of destroying it.

From then on, our knowledge of the course of the operation is limited: the Russians have excellent security for their operations (OPSEC) and the details of their planning are not known. But fairly quickly, the course of the operation allows us to understand how the strategic objectives were translated on the operational level.

Demilitarization:

  • ground destruction of Ukrainian aviation, air defense systems and reconnaissance assets;
  • neutralization of command and intelligence structures (C3I), as well as the main logistical routes in the depth of the territory;
  • encirclement of the bulk of the Ukrainian army massed in the southeast of the country.
  • destruction or neutralization of volunteer battalions operating in the cities of Odessa, Kharkov, and Mariupol, as well as in various facilities in the territory.

Denazification:

2. Demilitarization

The Russian offensive was carried out in a very “classic” manner. Initially — as the Israelis had done in 1967 — with the destruction on the ground of the air force in the very first hours. Then, we witnessed a simultaneous progression along several axes according to the principle of “flowing water”: advance everywhere where resistance was weak and leave the cities (very demanding in terms of troops) for later. In the north, the Chernobyl power plant was occupied immediately to prevent acts of sabotage. The images of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers guarding the plant togetherare of course not shown.

The idea that Russia is trying to take over Kiev, the capital, to eliminate Zelensky, comes typically from the West. But Vladimir Putin never intended to shoot or topple Zelensky. Instead, Russia seeks to keep him in power by pushing him to negotiate, by surrounding Kiev. The Russians want to obtain the neutrality of Ukraine.

Many Western commentators were surprised that the Russians continued to seek a negotiated solution while conducting military operations. The explanation lies in the Russian strategic outlook since the Soviet era. For the West, war begins when politics ends. However, the Russian approach follows a Clausewitzian inspiration: war is the continuity of politics and one can move fluidly from one to the other, even during combat. This allows one to create pressure on the adversary and push him to negotiate.

From an operational point of view, the Russian offensive was an example of previous military action and planning: in six days, the Russians seized a territory as large as the United Kingdom, with a speed of advance greater than what the Wehrmacht had achieved in 1940.

The bulk of the Ukrainian army was deployed in the south of the country in preparation for a major operation against the Donbass. This is why Russian forces were able to encircle it from the beginning of March in the “cauldron” between Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk, with a thrust from the East through Kharkov and another from the South from Crimea. Troops from the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) Republics are complementing the Russian forces with a push from the East.

At this stage, Russian forces are slowly tightening the noose, but are no longer under any time pressure or schedule. Their demilitarization goal is all but achieved and the remaining Ukrainian forces no longer have an operational and strategic command structure.

The “slowdown” that our “experts” attribute to poor logistics is only the consequence of having achieved their objectives. Russia does not want to engage in an occupation of the entire Ukrainian territory. In fact, it appears that Russia is trying to limit its advance to the linguistic border of the country…………………………… more https://www.sott.net/article/466340-Retired-Swiss-Military-Intelligence-Officer-Is-it-Possible-to-Actually-Know-What-Has-Been-And-is-Going-on-in-Ukraine

April 16, 2022 Posted by | politics, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Reclaim the Word “Clean” from the Nuclear Industry

 https://www.lakesagainstnucleardump.com/post/reclaim-the-word-clean-from-the-nuclear-industry?fbclid=IwAR02CKMwy0OWx3Na_aCg_WKViBwAFB0CAeW0iXf7t0Zx5AGWwtGl-I7d314 15 Apr 22,

PETITION https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/clean-energy-technology-park-is-a-nuclear-nightmare

King Midas turned everthing he touched into gold. This is what the most toxic industry would have us believe nuclear power is …”clean” and “green” and puppy dogs tails. The dark heart of this industry resides in another heartland. That of Nannashire near Preston where the UK’s Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing site hunkers down like a well camouflaged toxic toad between the well known, vigorously and sucessfully opposed fracking sites of Preston New Road and Roseacre. Unlike fracking, Nuclear has co-opted so many ordinary folk with its unprecedented PR machine and largesse to good causes (using public money). And now it has even co-opted the English language with the naming of the “Clean Energy Technology Park” even while it gears up to rip up uranium from far flung countries and manufacture ever more nuclear fuel. There is no “away” for nuclear wastes apart from the Midas curse of turning all life on this fragile biosphere to a nuclear wasteland. How can we fight the “Clean Energy Technology Park” when even language has been twisted so out of shape for the nuclear cause…

What absolute idiot does not want “Clean Energy”?

Its CLEAN ENERGY Why are you Opposing it??

The first step to resistance is to reclaim the world “CLEAN” from the nuclear industry. Join us and sign the petition which will be handed in on the anniversary of the ongoing Chernobyl disaster – 26th April. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/clean-energy-technology-park-is-a-nuclear-nightmare

To: Trading Standards, Lancashire County Council. “CLEAN” ENERGY TECHNOLOGY PARK IS A NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE We the undersigned call for the the word “clean” to be removed from the UK’s Nuclear Fuel Manufacturing plant which the industry has re-named the Clean Energy Technology Park. We call for Removal of the word “CLEAN” from the CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY PARK to be replaced with the accurate description of “NUCLEAR”.

To describe Nuclear energy as “clean” is fraudulent and the claim amounts to a mass marketing scam perpetrated on the British public.

Why is this important?

“Clean” Energy Security? The raw material for nuclear is uranium which can be found in in the UK in the Orkneys but which our government buys from, for example Kazakhstan where it is largely mined by leaching out the uranium from the rock using massive amounts of fresh water and chemicals

. “Clean” Carbon footprint? Nuclear is at least the third highest carbon emitter after coal-fired plants and natural gas. As uranium becomes more scarce more energy and chemicals are needed to get the uranium out of the ground. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority have calculated their carbon footprint for 2019/20 as 1,046,950 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This does not include operation of nuclear reactors or include the building of Hinkley Point C with the biggest pour of concrete in the UK ever. The nuclear and fossil fuel industry are mutually intertwined. The biggest gas plant being constructed in the UK right now is at Sellafield, home to 80 percent of the UK’s existing nuclear waste which needs to be kept cool. The heating effect of discharges to the atmosphere and sea and also the use of water as a coolant for reactors and nuclear wastes are all contributing to ocean temperature rise and climate change. An honest description of Nuclear would be : Radioactive Fossil Fuel by proxy

“Clean” Radioactive Emissions Radioactive emissions occur at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle from the mining of uranium to enrichment, to fuel manufacture, to operation of the reactors, to the “disposal” of nuclear wastes. These emissions occur both routinely and accidentally and have already resulted in large swathes of the world’s land and oceans becoming irreversibly polluted with man-made radioactive isotopes.

“Clean” and Healthy? Radiation can damage the DNA in our cells. High doses of radiation can cause Acute Radiation Syndrome or Cutaneous Radiation Injuries. There is no such thing as a “safe dose” of radiation

The “Clean Energy Technology Park” just 3.9 miles from the centre of Preston is planning an incinerator to burn intermediate level radioactive wastes from across Europe. This would result in daily plumes of chemical and radio-toxic airborne fine particle emissions blowing accross Preston City Centre. We call for the word “Clean” to be replaced by – Nuclear – at the

“Clean Energy Technology Park”.

.

April 16, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Caitlin Johnstone sheds a critical gaze on media reporting on Ukraine, and asks why Julian Assange is criminalised for revealing military atrocities.

If it seems a bit hypocritical to you that the empire is blasting us in the face all day with narratives alleging Russian war crimes while that same empire is imprisoning a journalist for exposing its war crimes, that’s because it absolutely is hypocritical.

If something looks wrong about the fact that we’re about to watch a judge sign off on Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States for practicing journalism while that same United States keeps pushing out narratives about the need to protect Ukraine’s freedom and democracy, that’s because it should. 

If It Feels Like You’re Being Manipulated, It’s Because You Are,
more https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/if-it-feels-like-youre-being-manipulated?s=w Caitlin Johnstone, 11 Apr 22,
If you’ve got a gut feeling that your rulers are working to control your perception of the war in Ukraine, it is safe to trust that feeling.

If you feel like there’s been a concerted effort from the most powerful government and media institutions in the western world to manipulate your understanding of what’s going on with this war, it’s because that’s exactly what has been happening.

If you can’t recall ever seeing such intense mass media spin about a war before, it’s because you haven’t.

If you get the distinct impression that this may be the most aggressively perception-managed and psyop-intensive war in human history, it’s because it is.

If it looks like Silicon Valley platforms are controlling the content that people see to give them a perspective on this war that is wildly biased in favor of the US narrative, it’s because that is indeed the case.

If it seems like a suspicious coincidence that Russiagate manufactured mainstream consent for all the same shady agendas we’re seeing ramped up now like cold war brinkmanship against Moscow, internet censorship, and being constantly lied to by the mass media for the greater good, it’s because it is a mighty suspicious coincidence.

If it seems weird to you that so many self-styled leftists are responding to this war by fanatically supporting the extremely dangerous unipolarist geostrategic agendas of the most powerful empire that has ever existed, that’s because it is weird. Really, really, really weird.

If it seems a bit hypocritical to you that the empire is blasting us in the face all day with narratives alleging Russian war crimes while that same empire is imprisoning a journalist for exposing its war crimes, that’s because it absolutely is hypocritical.

If something looks wrong about the fact that we’re about to watch a judge sign off on Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States for practicing journalism while that same United States keeps pushing out narratives about the need to protect Ukraine’s freedom and democracy, that’s because it should. 

If you’re beginning to get the nagging sense that the mainstream consensus worldview is a construct manufactured by the powerful, for the powerful and everything you were taught about your nation, your government and your world is a lie, that’s definitely a possibility worth considering.

If it’s starting to seem like we’re all being manipulated at mass scale to think, act and vote in a way which benefits a vast power structure that rules over us while hiding its true nature, I’d say that’s a thread worth pulling.

If you’ve a sneaking suspicion that the lies might go even deeper than that, right down to deceptions about who you fundamentally are and what this life is actually about, that suspicion is probably worth exploring.

If you’re feeling a bit like Keanu Reeves in the beginning of The Matrix right before the veil gets ripped away, I’d recommend following the white bunny and seeing how deep that rabbit hole goes.

If it has occurred to you that humanity needs to wake up from the matrix of illusion before our sociopathic rulers drive us to extinction via environmental catastrophe or nuclear armageddon, then your notes match my own.

 If you believe it’s possible that these existential crises we’re fast approaching may be the catalyst we need to collectively rip the blindfold from our eyes and begin moving in a truth-based way upon this earth and creating a healthy world, then we are on the same page.

If there’s something in you that whispers there’s a good chance we make it despite the long odds we appear to be facing, I will tell you a secret: I hear it too.

April 12, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Questions Abound About Bucha Massacre

The West has made a snap judgment about who is responsible for the massacre at the Ukrainian town of Bucha with calls for more stringent sanctions on Russia, but the question of guilt is far from decided, writes  Joe Lauria.  By Joe Lauria, Special to Consortium News 4 Apr 22,  Within hours of news Sunday that there had been a massacre at Bucha, a town 63 kms north of the Ukrainian capital, the verdict was in:  Russian troops had senselessly slaughtered hundreds of innocent civilians as they withdrew from the town, leaving their bodies littering the streets. 

 

Unlike their judicial systems, when it comes to war, Western nations dispense with the need for investigations and evidence and pronounce guilt based on political motives: Russia is guilty. Case closed……………….

 voices are now perilously calling for the U.S. to go to war with Russia over the incident.  …….. Russia has categorically denied it had anything to do with the massacre.

Where to Start

If there were to be a serious probe, one of the first places an investigator would begin is to map out a timeline of events. 

Last Wednesday, all Russian forces left Bucha, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. 

This was confirmed on Thursday by a smiling Anatolii Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, in a video on the Bucha City Council official Facebook page.  The translated post accompanying the video says:

“March 31 – the day of the liberation of Bucha. This was announced by Bucha Mayor Anatolii Fedoruk. This day will go down in the glorious history of Bucha and the entire Bucha community as a day of liberation by the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the Russian occupiers.”

All of the Russian troops are gone and yet there is no mention of a massacre. The beaming Fedoruk says it is a “glorious day” in the history of Bucha, which would hardly be the case if hundreds of dead civilians littered the streets around Fedoruk. 

“Russian Defence Ministry denied accusations by the Kiev regime of the alleged killing of civilians in Bucha, Kiev Region. Evidence of crimes in Bucha appeared only on the fourth day after the Security Service of Ukraine and representatives of Ukrainian media arrived in the town. All Russian units completely withdrew from Bucha on March 30, and ‘not a single local resident was injured’ during the time when Bucha was under the control of Russian troops,” the Russian MOD said in a post on Telegram.

What Happened Next?

What happened then on Friday and Saturday? As pointed out in a piece by Jason Michael McCann on Standpoint Zero, The New York Times was in Bucha on Saturday and did not report a massacre. Instead, the Times said the withdrawal was completed on Saturday, two days after the mayor said it was, and that the Russians left “behind them dead soldiers and burned vehicles, according to witnesses, Ukrainian officials, satellite images and military analysts.”

The Times said reporters found the bodies of six civilians. “It was unclear under what circumstances they had died, but the discarded packaging of a Russian military ration was lying beside one man who had been shot in the head,” the paper said. It then quoted a Zelensky adviser, who said:

“’The bodies of people with tied hands, who were shot dead by soldiers lie in the streets,’ the adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said on Twitter. ‘These people were not in the military. They had no weapons. They posed no threat.’ He included an image of a scene, photographed by Agence France-Presse, showing three bodies on the side of a road, one with hands apparently tied behind the back. The New York Times was unable to independently verify Mr. Podolyak’s claim the people had been executed.’”

It is possible that on Saturday the full extent of the horror had yet to emerge, and that even the mayor was unaware of it two days before, though photos now show many of the bodies out in the open on the streets of the town, something that presumably would be difficult to miss. 

In Bucha, the Times was close to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, whose soldiers appear in the newspaper’s photographs. In his piece, McCann suggests that Azov may responsible for the killings:

“Something very interesting then happens on [Saturday] 2 April, hours before a massacre is brought to the attention of the national and international media. The US and EU-funded Gorshenin Institute online [Ukrainian language] site Left Bank announced that:

‘Special forces have begun a clearing operation in the city of Bucha in the Kyiv region, which has been liberated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The city is being cleared from saboteurs and accomplices of Russian forces.’

The Russian military has by now completely left the city, so this sounds for all the world like reprisals. The state authorities would be going through the city searching for ‘saboteurs’ and ‘accomplices of Russian forces.’ Only the day before [Friday], Ekaterina Ukraintsiva, representing the town council authority, appeared on an information video on the Bucha Live Telegram page wearing military fatigues and seated in front of a Ukrainian flag to announce ‘the cleansing of the city.’ She informed residents that the arrival of the Azov battalion did not mean that liberation was complete (but it was, the Russians had fully withdrawn), and that a ‘complete sweep’ had to be performed.”

Ukraintsiva was speaking a day after the mayor had said the town was liberated.   

By Sunday morning, the world learned of the massacre of hundreds of people. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “We strongly condemn apparent atrocities by Kremlin forces in Bucha and across Ukraine. We are pursuing accountability using every tool available, documenting and sharing information to hold accountable those responsible.” President Joe Biden on Monday called for a “war crimes” trial. “This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous, and everyone’s seen it. I think it’s a war crime.”

The Bucha incident is a critical moment in the war. An impartial investigation is warranted, which probably only the U.N. could conduct. The Azov Battalion may have perpetrated revenge killings against Russian collaborators, or the Russians carried out this massacre. (Once again the Pentagon is dampening the war hysteria, saying it can’t confirm or deny Russia was responsible.)

A rush to judgment is dangerous, with irresponsible talk of the U.S. directly fighting Russia. But it is a rush to judgment that we are getting.

[Update: Satellite images, published after this article appeared by The New York Times, purportedly showing bodies strewn on a street in mid-March, should be considered by an impartial investigation. It cannot be considered at this point as conclusive evidence.]

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe  https://consortiumnews.com/2022/04/04/questions-abound-about-bucha-massacre/  

April 7, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, Ukraine, weapons and war | 1 Comment

The US Bubble of Pretend- our complacent acceptance of preposterous propaganda about Ukraine

PATRICK LAWRENCE: The US Bubble of Pretend,  The lack of objective, principled coverage of the war in Ukraine is a degenerate state of affairs. The one thing worse is the extent to which it’s perfectly fine with most Americans. Consortium News, By Patrick Lawrence, 6 Apr 22,

Consortium News   It is perfectly obvious by now, to anyone who cares to look, that mainstream media in America and the other Western powers are not reporting the Ukraine crisis accurately.

Let me try that another way: The government-supervised New York Times and the rest of the corporate-owned media on both sides of the Atlantic lie routinely to their readers and viewers as to why Russia intervened in Ukraine, the progress of its military operation, the conduct of Ukrainian forces, and America’s role in purposely provoking and prolonging this crisis.

So far as I know, this is the first war in modern history with no objective, principled coverage in mainstream media of day-to-day events and their context. None. It is morn-to-night propaganda, disinformation and lies of omission — most of it fashioned by the Nazi-infested Zelensky regime in Kiev and repeated uncritically as fact.

There is one thing worse than this degenerate state of affairs. It is the extent to which the media’s malpractice is perfectly fine to most Americans. Tell us what to think and believe no matter if it is true, they say, and we will think and believe it. Show us some pictures, for images are all. 

There are larger implications to consider here. Critical as it is that we understand this conflict, Ukraine is a mirror in which we see ourselves as we have become. For more Americans than I wish were so, reality forms only in images. These Americans are no longer occupants of their own lives. Risking a paradox, what they take to be reality is detached from reality.

This majority — and it is almost certainly a majority — has no thoughts or views except those first verified through the machinery of manufactured images and “facts.” Television screens, the pages of purportedly authoritative newspapers, the air waves of government-funded radio stations — NPR, the BBC — serve to certify realities that do not have to be real, truths that do not have to be true.

This leaves us in a sad and very parlous place………………….

Ten days into the Russian intervention, the propaganda coming out of Kiev was already so preposterous The New York Times felt compelled to publish a piece headlined, “In Ukraine’s Information War, a Blend of Fact and Fiction.” This was a baldly rendered apologia for the many “stories of questionable veracity,” as The Times put it, then in circulation. I do love The Times for its delicate phrasing when describing indelicate matters.

There was the “Ghost of Kiev” story, featuring an heroic fighter pilot who turned out to derive from a video game. There were the Snake Island heroes, 13 Ukrainian soldiers who held out to the death on some small speck in the Black Sea, except that it turned out they surrendered, though not before Zelensky awarded them posthumous medals of honor that were not posthumous.

After railing against disinformation for years, The Times wants us to know, disinformation is O.K. in Ukraine because the Ukrainians are our side and they are simply “boosting morale.”

We cannot say we weren’t warned. The Ghost of Kiev and Snake Island turn out now to be mere prelude, opening acts in the most extensive propaganda operation of the many I can recall.

There was the maternity ward the Russians supposedly bombed in Mariupol. And then the theater, and then the art school. All filled with huddling citizens the Russian air force cynically targeted because “this is genocide,” as the ever-intemperate Zelensky does not hesitate to assert.

All of this has been reported as fact in the Times and other major dailies and, of course, by the major broadcasters. There have been pictures. There have been videos, all very persuasive to the eye.

And then, as evidence mounts that these incidents were staged as propaganda to frame the Russians and draw NATO forces directly into the war, a silence worthy of a Catholic chapel descends. We read no more of the maternity ward that turned out to be an improvised Azov base, or the theater, where citizens were herded, photographed in raggedy blankets, and sent away. Ditto the art school: Nothing more on this since the initial reports began to collapse. No body counts, no mention of the fact that Russian jets did not fly over Mariupol on the days in question…………………………..

Bucha is a suburb of 35,000 souls a few miles north of Kiev and one of the cities Russian forces began to evacuate on March 29 as peace talks in Istanbul progressed. Two days later the mayor, Anatoly Fedoruk, celebrated the city’s liberation in a selfie-speech to his citizenry. He made no mention of anything untoward in Bucha’s streets, backyards, or public spaces.

Four days later, April 2, a special unit of the Ukrainian national police deployed to Bucha. And suddenly the place turns out to be a hellhole: bodies in the streets — 410, according to the Prosecutor General’s office in Kiev — evidence of atrocities galore, people bound and shot point blank. The whole nine, in short.

Instant Outrage 

The outrage from Washington, London and Paris — “worldwide outrage,” this would be — was instant. No demand for an impartial inquiry, forensic inspections, or any such thing. No one asked why corpses left in the street for five days appeared to be fresh, or why the relatives of the dead left them there until Kiev’s commando unit arrived.  

António Guterres, the U.N. secretary-general, was level-headed enough to state, “It is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability.” This is the only sound position at this point. But we know from a long history how far SGs  at the U.N. get with this sort of talk.

In my read this is yet another of the false flags the Kiev regime flies almost by the day now. Paying-attention people will not miss the striking similarity between these incidents and the numerous put-up jobs that featured in Washington’s covert operation in Syria and the campaign of those famous “moderate rebels” who desperately wanted to draw the U.S. into the conflict. 

As a matter of principle we must await evidence of what happened in Bucha, even as we know we are likely to see as much about events there as we have in Mariupol. We also know that to most people neither evidence nor its absence matters.

We have been told once again what to think and believe, and most of us will think and believe it.

We are to add this to various other “truths” now almost universally accepted: The Russian intervention had nothing to do with NATO expansion and was “unprovoked” — that favored term in the Biden regime. Ukrainian forces have pushed the Russians into retreat: not that the pressure on Kiev was a Russian diversionary tactic to keep Ukrainian forces away from Donbass where the fighting  is.

After the Pentagon Papers came out in 1971, Hannah Arendt published an essay in The New York Review of Books called “Lying in Politics.” In it she wrote of America’s slide into a sort of collective psychosis she termed “defactualization.” Facts are fragile, Arendt wrote, in that they tell no story in themselves. They can be assembled to mean whatever one wants them to mean. This leaves them vulnerable to the manipulations of storytellers…………..

It is a half-century since Arendt published “Lying in Politics.” And it is to that time, the 1960s and 1970s, that we must trace the formation of what now amounts to America’s great bubble of pretend. The world as it is has mattered less and less since Arendt’s time, the world as we have wished it to be has mattered more and more…………………………. https://consortiumnews.com/2022/04/05/patrick-lawrence-the-us-bubble-of-pretend/

April 7, 2022 Posted by | media, spinbuster, USA | 2 Comments

” Renewable Energy Foundation (REF)” – strongly linked to anti-wind power lobby

Charity linked to UK anti-onshore wind campaigns active again. While the
name of the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) suggests it is a charity
dedicated to promoting low-carbon electricity, it appears to spend most of
its time campaigning against onshore wind.

When it was founded in 2004,
with the TV personality Noel Edmonds as its chair, the organisation was
clear it wanted to fight against the “grotesque political push” for
onshore renewable energy in the UK. It styles itself on its website as “a
registered charity promoting sustainable development for the benefit of the
public by means of energy conservation and the use of renewable energy”.

However, many in the energy sector believe the charity to be full of
anti-wind lobbyists. In 2008, the REF had what it described as a
“dialogue” with the Charity Commission over whether it was violating
its charitable status by being too political in its campaigning. The
Charity Commission said it assessed the complaint relating to the REF’s
campaigning activities and determined there was no evidence that it was not
charitable, but also provided guidance about how to achieve its objectives
as an organisation.

The REF has strong links to a group accused of climate
science scepticism, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, started by the
former chancellor Nigel Lawson, who has denied global heating is a problem.
Prof Michael Kelly, a trustee of the REF also has a position on the board
of the GWPF. John Constable, an adviser to the GWPF, has been quoted as an
REF spokesperson and was previously its director of policy and research.
Constable answered the Guardian’s questions for this article on behalf of
the REF.

While the REF has been relatively quiet in recent years, growing
pressure on the government to support wind energy to help solve the energy
crisis seems to have led to it becoming more active again. In recent weeks,
the charity has provided anti-onshore wind research to the Telegraph and
Daily Mail. Colin Davie, a trustee of the REF, has appeared on Radio 4’s
Today programme to oppose onshore wind. Constable added that the REF had
“no blanket policy” on renewables – but that the charity did not see
them as a large part of the net zero strategy. He added: “Each proposal
must be judged on its own merits, and providing that local environmental
concerns offer no obstacle, niche applications may be suitable, as they may
be for all renewables.”

 Guardian 5th April 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/05/charity-linked-to-uk-anti-onshore-wind-campaigns-active-again-renewable-energy-foundation

April 7, 2022 Posted by | Education, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Weapons corporations infiltrate Australian schools and charities, promoting war-mongering to our youth

REPUTATION LAUNDERING,

 https://declassifiedaus.org/2022/03/31/reputation-laundering/ DeclassifiedAUS2 The weapons companies spruiking the ‘benefits and opportunities’ of the wars in Ukraine and Yemen and tensions in the South China Sea are infiltrating our schools., MICHELLE FAHY, 31 MARCH 2022

A Lockheed Martin missile blows up a school bus in Yemen, while in Australia the company gains kudos by sponsoring the National Youth Science Forum.

BAE Systems supports the education of kids in Australia, while being complicit in the killing of thousands of children in Yemen.

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons-maker, is raking in billions from ongoing wars like the four-week Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the eight-year long Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Lockheed Martin laser-guided bomb blew up a bus full of Yemeni school children in 2018, killing 40 children and injuring dozens more.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Lockheed Martin was busy cultivating kudos with kids as major sponsor of the National Youth Science Forum, a registered charity originally set up by Rotary.

Then there’s US missile-making giant Raytheon which now has a significant new manufacturing facility in Australia. It has continued to supply the Saudi-led coalition with weapons for the Yemen war, despite extensive evidence pointing to war crimes arising from its missiles being used to target and kill civilians. 

In January 2022, a Raytheon missile killed at least 80 people and injured over 200 in a so-called precision strike in Sa’adah in Yemen.

Within days of this horrific incident, Raytheon’s CEO was telling investors that rising tensions represented “opportunities for international sales” and he fully expected to “see some benefit” from “the tensions in Eastern Europe [and] the South China Sea”.

There’s no mention in Australia’s media of the big profits Raytheon is making from the Yemen war, which has now entered its eighth year, killed or injured at least 19,000 civilians, and possibly many more, and also caused the deaths of tens of thousands of children through starvation, due to disruption of food supplies and militarily-enforced trade blockade.

Instead, we’ve seen pictures of Aussie school kids having fun with the Australian snowboarding Paralympian who Raytheon Australia hired to front the launch of its Maths Alive! educational exhibition.

And we also heard about Raytheon’s sponsorship of Soldier On and the Invictus Games, despite the irony of a weapons company using its support of injured military personnel as a public relations exercise.

There’s a name for this cynical behaviour by corporations: ‘reputation laundering’.

Weapons companies are now ‘Innovators’

The world’s weapons producers have also taken to promoting themselves as ‘innovators’ in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths, called STEM. 

This enables them to target children and young people as future employees (see, for exampleBAE Systems AustraliaBoeing Defence Australia, and Saab Australia), often with the willing partnership of respected institutions. Many Australian universities now have MOUsjoint venturesstrategic partnerships, or other forms of collaboration with the weapons industry.

This enthusiastic support of STEM serves a double purpose: reputation laundering, and a socially acceptable way to promote the weapons industry as a future employer directly to children and their parents.

Promoting STEM education is essential to creating a well-trained workforce for key industries of the future, particularly those that can tackle the existential risks associated with climate change. The concern with the weapons industry’s activities in this domain is the way it is using STEM to target children as young as primary school age for weapons-making careers, often with the support of government. 

The spin and glamour being associated with Australia’s increased militarism is a concern on several levels, particularly as the marketing omits pertinent information: weapons and warfare aren’t mentioned.

Nor is there information about how children might use their STEM skills to enhance the ‘lethality’ of their employer’s products.

Nor about a future in which the need for human involvement in the ‘kill chain’ is eliminated by creating autonomous robots to make life and death decisions instead. (This is not science fiction, these research and development programs are already happening.)

Working for companies involved with nuclear weapons isn’t discussed, either.

Instead, a world of euphemism has been created: ‘advanced technology systems, products and services’, ‘high end technology company’, ‘leading systems integrator’, ‘security and aerospace company’, ‘defence technology and innovation company’. 

It is also likely to be weapons company marketing material if the phrase ‘solving complex problems’ appears, especially if accompanied by claims of ‘making the world safer.

None of these euphemisms conjures up realistic images of the bloody and brutal destruction the world is witnessing in the world’s latest war in Ukraine.

The ways global weapons giants have cultivated relationships with organisations of good purpose in Australia is highlighted in the following examples.

Lockheed Martin and the National Youth Science Forum

The National Youth Science Forum was created by Rotary, which remains involved. The Forum, now a not-for-profit organisation overseen by a board, has numerous programs, the flagship program being for Year 12 students interested in a career in science.

“The ban treaty embodies the collective moral revulsion of the international community,” according to the Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament at the Australian National University, Professor Ramesh Thakur.

Lockheed Martin and the Gallipoli Sponsorship Fund

In 2020, Lockheed Martin Australia became the first corporate sponsor of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund and provides $120,000 to fund 12 Lockheed Martin Australia bursaries for the educational benefit of descendants of Australian military veterans.

Lockheed Martin is providing these Australian educational bursaries through to the end of 2023, with an opportunity to extend.

Referring to Lockheed Martin as a “defence technology and innovation company”, the Gallipoli Sponsorship Fund’s website also does not disclose Lockheed’s status as the world’s dominant weapons-maker nor its position as a major nuclear weapons producer.

BAE Systems and The Smith Family

This example illustrates that public pressure can and does make a difference.

The UK’s largest weapons-maker, BAE Systems, has been working inside Saudi Arabia supporting the Saudi-led coalition’s role in Yemen since the start of the war.

A BAE maintenance employee was quoted in 2019 saying, “If we weren’t there, in 7 to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.” BAE Systems has sold nearly £18 billion worth of weaponry to the Saudis since the war in Yemen started in 2014.

Yet in Australia, BAE Systems started a $100,000 partnership with The Smith Family in August 2020, sponsoring a STEM education program for under-privileged children.

BAE’s role helping the Saudis prolong one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises in Yemen was pointed out numerous times to The Smith Family, a children’s charity, after news broke of its BAE sponsorship.

The Smith Family initially resisted but after increasing pressure and activism from peace organisations and many complaints from the public, The Smith Family soon dropped its controversial ‘partnership’ with BAE Systems Australia, mere months after it had started.

Morally indefensible positions

Benign-sounding sponsorships of Australian school children such as these might appear less self-serving if weapons companies behaved consistently and stopped supplying weapons to those nations known to be serial abusers of human rights. 

Saying they are merely doing the bidding of their governments in supplying the Saudis, and other abusive and repressive regimes, as these companies have, is not a morally defensible position.

It is particularly not defensible in the face of evidence of ongoing war crimes being committed using their weaponry.

MICHELLE FAHY is an independent writer and researcher, specialising in the examination of connections between the weapons industry and government, and has written in various independent publications. She is on twitter @FahyMichelle, and on Substack at UndueInfluence.substack.com  An earlier version of this article was published in Michael West Media in November 2020.

April 2, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Education | Leave a comment

Depicting Putin as ‘Madman’ Eliminates Need for Diplomacy

The Western media caricature of Putin as a psychopathic leader acting on irrational and idiosyncratic beliefs is a  convenient propaganda narrative that excuses US officials from taking diplomacy seriously—at the expense of Ukrainian lives and nuclear brinkmanship

FAIR, JOSHUA CHO, 30 Mar 22, Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, Western media have depicted Russian President Vladimir Putin as an irrational—perhaps mentally ill—leader who cannot be reasoned or bargained with. Such portrayals have only intensified as the Ukraine crisis came to dominate the news agenda.

The implications underlying these media debates and speculations about Putin’s psyche are immense. If one believes that Putin is a “madman,” the implication is that meaningful diplomatic negotiations with Russia are impossible, pushing military options to the forefront as the means of resolving the Ukraine situation.

If Putin is not a rational actor, the implication is that no kind of diplomacy could have prevented the Russian invasion, and therefore no other country besides Russia shares blame for ongoing violence. (See FAIR.org3/4/22.) Yet another implication is that if Putin’s defects made Russia’s invasion unavoidable, then regime change may be necessary to resolve the conflict.

‘Increasingly insane’

Western media have for years been debating whether Putin is insane (Extra!5/14; FAIR.org2/12/15) or merely pretending to be—speculation that has only intensified in recent weeks:

  • Guardian (2/24/22): “Decision to Invade Ukraine Raises Questions Over Putin’s ‘Sense of Reality’”
  • Daily Beast (3/1/22): “The Russian People May Be Starting to Think Putin Is Insane”
  • Vanity Fair (3/1/22): “Report: An ‘Increasingly Frustrated’ Putin, a Madman With Nuclear Weapons, Is Lashing Out at His Inner Circle”
  • New York (3/4/22): “Putin’s War Looks Increasingly Insane”

The Guardian report (2/24/22) cited concerns raised in European official circles about Putin’s mental state:

They worry about a 69-year-old man whose tendency towards insularity has been amplified by his precautions against Covid, leaving him surrounded by an ever-shrinking coterie of fearful obedient courtiers. He appears increasingly uncoupled from the contemporary world, preferring to burrow deep into history and a personal quest for greatness.

Even when other media analysts argued that Putin’s alleged mental illness was merely a ruse to wrest concessions from the west, this was not presented as a rationale for negotiating with him, but rather as a reason to reject de-escalation and diplomacy. Forbes (3/1/22)……….

‘Detached from reality’

In the Daily Beast (3/1/22), Amy Knight, a historian of Russia and the USSR, displayed a remarkable ability to read Putin’s mind, discerning the real motivations of someone she describes as possibly “detached from reality…………………..

Reason is not going to work’

Other Western media headlines offered quite specific, though varying, evaluations of Putin’s mental state from a distance. ……..


Atlantic 
(4/15/14): “Vladimir Putin, Narcissist?”Independent (2/1/15): “President Putin Is a Dangerous Psychopath—Reason Is Not Going to Work With Him”USA Today (2/4/15): “Pentagon 2008 Study Claims Putin Has Asperger’s Syndrome”Sun (2/28/22): “Vladimir Putin Is Egocentric, Narcissistic & Exhibits Key Traits of a Psychopath”Fox News (3/2/22): “Russian President Vladimir Putin Has Features of a Psychopath: Expert”

These diagnoses from afar have been going on for a long time…………………………………………………..

As of this writing, Secretary of State Antony Blinken hasn’t attempted any conversations with his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, while Russian military commanders are declining calls from the Pentagon, likely due to the US sharing military intelligence with the Ukrainian government. This silence on both the diplomatic and military fronts risks further escalation instead of a quick negotiated end to the war.

The Western media caricature of Putin as a psychopathic leader acting on irrational and idiosyncratic beliefs is a  convenient propaganda narrative that excuses US officials from taking diplomacy seriously—at the expense of Ukrainian lives and nuclear brinkmanship (Antiwar.com3/10/22). Recent negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul were hailed by both parties as constructive, with Russia vowing to reduce military activity around Kyiv and northern Ukraine as a result (NPR3/29/22). It’s important not to let US officials subvert peace negotiations between the two parties on the evidence-free grounds that negotiations with Russia are pointless.  https://fair.org/home/depicting-putin-as-madman-eliminates-need-for-diplomacy/

March 31, 2022 Posted by | media, politics international, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment