It is always sadly amusing to listen to the CBC to discuss foreign propaganda – usually Russian – while assuming that all they report is simply accurate news that has neither been censored or vetted by anyone, but is simply the gospel.
This response stems from a short clip I caught of CBC’s Wendy Mesley (”The Weekly” January 21, 2017) discussing the Kremlin propaganda propagated by RT News. She – and her producers – showed a short clip from RT News that talked about U.S. support for ISIS. Ms Mesley’s response is “That’s a lie.” It is not often in political arguments that a direct accusation of lying is made. Usually it is obfuscated through words such as ‘misspoke’, or ‘evaded the truth’, or ‘mendacious’ (for the more eloquent), or ‘misrepresenting’.
Unfortunately, for Ms Mesley, I would have to counter her lie with the same simple accusation. From all that I have read from many news sites around the world available on the internet, the vast majority understand that the U.S. did assist ISIS. They did so indirectly through their allies in Saudi Arabia and in Israel. They did so directly by avoiding bombing hard targets and oil convoys that the Russian forces seemed to have no problem finding and destroying. They did it directly by allowing the ISIS forces in Raqqa to leave the area and be regrouped into a new fighting force in Eastern Syria. They did so by setting up bases from which ISIS forces could operate in southern Syria. Through all these channels, U.S. ordinance was channeled to ISIS, al-Qaeda, and al-Nusra. It became ridiculous enough that the U.S. CIA backed factions ended up fighting with the U.S. Pentagon backed factions.
The ultimate goal, clearly distinct from U.S. “lies” about democracy and freedom, was regime change (as were Libya and Iraq) aimed at containing Russia, and protecting the U.S. petrodollar as the U.S. controlled the region through its proxy allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
More significantly for this response was CBC’s presentation in two parts of Michael Kirk’s “Putin’s Revenge”, a documentary based on the idea that Putin personally wanted revenge on Hillary Clinton, primarily for her actions regarding Libya, and her ongoing support of the neonazi forces in Ukraine. One of the main commentators is Julia Ioffe, a clear Russophobe who writes for the “Atlantic”. The conclusion is that Putin succeeded by interfering with the U.S. elections beyond his goal to “bloody her nose…not to break her neck” (documentaries description, not Putin’s).
The documentary is very well done, and succeeds at its goal of maligning Putin in particular and Russia in general, while the implication is that the U.S. is always above board and is only interested in democracy and freedom. It succeeds, however, only for an uninformed audience that is not informed from many sources, nor is capable of critical thinking.
The clearest example of this concerns their talking points around Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State under Obama. The documentary presents her comment from a discussion with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Payette, “Fuck the EU”. The documentary reprimanded her for her language, she personally admits guilt for using a “barnyard epitaph”, and continues on to discuss the situation with the Maidan. Nuland’s points are that surely it is a right for people to demonstrate peacefully in public places.
“The documentary is very well done, and succeeds at its goal of maligning Putin in particular and Russia in general, while the implication is that the U.S. is always above board and is only interested in democracy and freedom…”
Several significant things were ignored from this discussion. Before Nuland said “Fuck the EU” she and Payette discussed who they wanted to lead the new government, and settled on the Right Sector neonazi Arsenyi Yatsenyuk. The program also ignored Nuland’s statement that the U.S.put $5 billion dollars into Ukraine in order to turn them against Russia.
More importantly are the disingenuous (lying by omission and dissimulation) statements about the peaceful demonstrations. Certainly they started peacefully, but gradually the Right Sector and Svoboda groups infiltrated into the demonstrations and gradually increased the level of violence against the police. From all the reports outside the western MSM, it became obvious that right sector snipers, shooting from nearby buildings that they had taken over (Is that a right as part of a protest? Certainly not in the U.S.) shot and killed both police and demonstrators in order to instigate further action against the Yanukovich government. Obviously they succeeded.
Another aspect, again Ukraine, was the accession of Crimea to Russia. Clearly from the [official] U.S. point of view this was a military takeover of Crimea followed by a rigged election. That clearly defies the historical basis of Crimea’s desire for separation from Ukraine (which I won’t detail here). Yes, there certainly were LGM (little green men) that prevented Ukrainian forces from forcefully holding the region (as they attempted in Donbass – interestingly enough not discussed in this presentation), but the Russian forces were always present, and did not act violently but rather to maintain a political calm.
Were they under occupation while voting? Sure, let’s accept that canard for a moment. What about Kosovo, voting under occupation? The same for Iraq and Afghanistan. To go back further, both Japan and Germany had their first post war votes under U.S. occupation. In a sense the latter two are still under occupation with about 50 000 U.S. military personnel currently in each. Read something other than the MSM news and it is obvious that the clear large majority of Crimeans wanted to leave and are happy to have left Ukraine.
The documentary continues on to all the information concerning Russiagate – the cyber attacks, the hacking of the DNC site, Wikileaks, the use of social media et al in order to turn the U.S. voter against Hillary Clinton. Once again let’s accept that canard, in spite of the lack of evidence presented so far (other than the financial and fraud charges against members of the Trump government). The general theme continues with the implication throughout that the U.S. are innocent of these kinds of actions, and that only the nefarious Putin would act like that against the U.S. To be honest, if that is true about Putin, well played, you beat the U.S. at their own game.
Putin is no saint, no politician is. The U.S. however certainly defines the nastiness of interfering in other people’s elections, while at the same time ignoring, denying, obfuscating this as well as the huge influence of the Israel lobby and the Saudi lobby within U.S. domestic politics. There is a tremendous amount of information available as to how the U.S. through direct and indirect means regularly interferes with other sovereign nation’s elections and legitimate governments. Again, I won’t detail that here, way too much information.
The one detail that highlights U.S. hypocrisy is the U.S. support of Yeltsin as they worked to take down the Russian state, and in the process produced all the oligarchs they rant against today. As well, they helped set up the current system of governance with a strong presidential role (easier to control one man than a whole Duma) – and assisted with Yeltsin’s selection of Putin as Putin’s successor. Ironic, eh?
The CBC, eh?
Regardless of Ms Mensley’s statements, her viewpoints are vetted through CBC editorial boards, through choices of producers, announcers, and researchers. It is obvious in the large picture as presented above and is also obvious in the smaller details such as choice of vocabulary. “International community” is the euphemism for the western countries (U.S./EU/NATO); “regime” stands for any government the U.S. doesn’t like. The U.S. has changed more democratically elected “regimes” than any other contemporary nation.
Consider this. The CBC is a crown corporation:
“The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (French: Société Radio-Canada), branded as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian federal Crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster.”
What does a crown corporation do? Well, a crown corporation is “Any corporation that is established and regulated by a country’s state or government.”
Oh my gosh – you mean that the CBC plays the same role as RT? Yes, they both try to represent their government’s position through choice of material, choice of language, and choice of announcers/personnel. RT does a much better job than CBC, as it covers a much broader range of international events and, from the follow up research that can be done on the internet, or through many excellent books presenting information about the U.S. empire, most of what RT says can be supported.
The CBC has a very definite political bias – mostly pro-U.S., a well serving arm of the overall U.S. system of corporate owned news media that support U.S. overseas adventurism, regime change, whatever it takes to keep the empire afloat – all in the name of democracy and freedom. Sure.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator living in British Columbia. He writes regularly about the Middle East and its militarization and economic subjugation. His concerns include the commodification of the world by corporate governance and the American government. He writes book reviews and opinion pieces which are published here, as well as in The Palestine Chronicle and Foreign Policy Journal. His work is widely distributed across the Internet.”