Opinion by Lauren Comele Morris
February 21, 2023
"Double-think means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them." George Orwell 1984
Americans are ignoring how the Nazis and Stalin used propaganda and disinformation to achieve their goals and sway the public. Biden opponents in the MAGA crowd took up the bat for Putin and bent the knee, objecting to a bipartisan support for U.S. aid to Ukraine and dismissing the strong international support.
Besides the misstatements of facts, errors and omissions in nightly Fox News reporting, these same people offer zero solutions for the conflict. They resort to crass criticisms of President Zelensky and mocking memes. They connect unrelated crises and make comparisons that have no connection as a justification for their lack of knowledge of the conflict. They accuse people whom they have no knowledge of, specifically Zelensky, of atrocities and other absurdities. They miss the facts entirely and subject the dying citizens of Ukraine to slander and humiliation while Ukrainians put their loved ones in dirt graves in the freezing darkness, and watch their country burn.
Putin’s continuing history of military aggression must now stop once and for all.
Those Americans who are on the daily dose of Steve Bannon, Charlie Kirk, Alex Jones and Tucker Carlson, are absorbing a significantly unbalanced set of opinions. The narratives are narrow and solely support anti-Biden rhetoric. They humiliate and make fun of terrorized citizens. They lack evidentiary support and are thoroughly debunked by open source intelligence - OSINT, the wave of the future.
Bannon further embarrasses himself by having guests on his show who are not geopolitical experts and who double down on his weak and narrow Ukraine narrative. Enter, Benjamin Harnwell of the conservative British party and founder of the Institute for Human Dignity, a Catholic inspired institute in Italy. In fact, they are not analysts, researchers or experts of any kind, as it may pertain to any Ukraine subject.
The comments and false stories about Zelenksy flood social media targeting the MAGA base. American people who eat this up are ignoring the facts on the ground, Putin’s history of invasion, his war crimes, aggression, and genocide. Forget the death of culture, Ukraine’s history and beauty. Let Putin flatten it all to the ground, just like Chechnya. Putin’s work is a scorched earth policy, a genocide of thousands of innocent civilians, kidnapped and forced relocation of Ukrainian children, confiscated property, looted museum treasures and historical artifacts, millions of refugees. Lives destroyed.
Is that the result they want from a dictator who plagiarizes Stalin, destroys and absorbs small nations? What about the neighboring countries like Moldova, the Baltics, or greater Europe? Do those citizens not matter either? “America and NATO should never have expanded to Russia’s border”, they say. “They should have not provoked Putin. Zelensky is an evil globalist, a pervert, a money laundering war monger and Ukraine is 100% corrupt".
Both Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon use the word fake when describing events in Ukraine. “Fake ass war”, and “fake air raid alarms”, “nothing but a photo op”. Really, is that the best they’ve got? Where is the evidence of these so-called fakes?
It is ridiculous. While it may not be good for my writing career to call out the pro Putin propagandists on the right side of the fence, I simply must.
Putin had the same excuses for invading Chechnya as he did for invading the Donbas. The Chechens were "attacking the Russian-speaking citizens", and Putin had to go in and liberate his people! People don’t know what Putin did to Chechnya. Ukraine reflects the forgotten Chechnya. The Chechnya that is now run by Ramzan Kadyrov under Sharia Law. Is that the result America wants for Ukraine?
As I have listed just a few of the chief complaints against Zelensky and Biden that we see on Twitter, there is plenty of information to dispute such powerhouses as Bannon, Kirk and Carlson. In fact, the list of credible sources is long and history is on its side. OSINT pioneer and Bellingcat’s founder Elliott Higgins, called Steve Bannon an “outrage profiteer”. Sophisticated round table discussions and geopolitical experts laugh at American media’s support for Putin, and call Tucker “the fringe”.
"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."
George Orwell 1984
Intel Slava Telegram channels tell the American public what to think. Recently, when President Biden visited Ukraine, it was in the aftermath of a toxic disaster in Ohio. The channel stated, “Americans, see, your President abandons you once again to Ukraine. He gives them your money while your infrastructure declines”. These channels make these comparisons and then we repeat them all over social media. “See, Americans, your border is open. Your President spends all your money on Ukraine!”. Americans then, instead of presenting solutions to its decades old money problems, claim that all of its money is squandered for the benefit of a foreign nation that has no bearing on America’s national security interests. “See, your veterans sleep in the streets. Your government pays for the mutilation of your children. Your nation kills the family structure and Christianity!” And the worst of all "Putin's not a bad guy . . . Zelensky is corrupt".
We can all agree that the American Government has serious issues with money management, and “never-ending wars”. However, it is not either our border or Ukraine. Where the war needs to be fought is where we fight it. We should fight both and we should have stopped Putin long ago, when he was devouring smaller nations. Ukraine chose to fight, and it is a fight long over due.
Devouring what suits our comfort zone isn’t the best policy for truth in media.
Let’s see what we should watch!
From Germany: DW’s OSINT department’s recent piece on Russian disinformation is excellent in showing how the attacks on the Tic Toc public work. The video on YouTube is called One Year of Disinformation Warfare in Ukraine and is a part of their Fact Check series which provides open source evidence on the media lies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_XF0hiRcsc. You can find DW’s website HERE: https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/s-9097.
From PBS on Putin and our past Presidents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJI8XTa_DII
From the U.S. Ukraine Foundation supported by Lt. General Ben Hodges, General Wesley Clark, General Philip Breedlove, and Debra Cagan: https://usukraine.org/events/what-is-the-goal-of-assistance-to-ukraine-online-webinar.
TV Poland offers a great series called Break the Fake and Military Mind in their coverage of the Ukraine conflict: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBjUPsHj7bXt24SUWNoZ0zA.
Telegram offers a host of both Russian and Ukrainian channels that post updates nonstop with battlefield video. It is on the Russian Telegram channels wherein the propaganda is the most pronounced.
In defense of President Zelensky and to debunk the fake Nazi narratives and that Zelensky is “killing his own people”, Gordon Crovitz of NewsGuard offers an exhaustive blog space debunking hundreds of websites spreading false narratives. See that evidence based reporting here: https://www.newsguardtech.com/special-reports/russian-disinformation-tracking-center/. Recent update here: https://www.newsguardtech.com/press/one-year-100-myths-newsguard-has-identified-more-than-100-false-narratives-about-the-war-in-ukraine/.
“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia.
Come on friends, turn your bullshit meters back to the ON position.
The truth matters.
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