US State Media Intent on Repeating Iraq War Face-plant
By Mike Madden Original to Rise Up Times January 17, 2022
Confident that the media failures that enabled the 2003 invasion of Iraq have safely been consigned to the memory hole, US State media has entered a new campaign to promote war with Russia.
With an impressive one-two punch last Friday and Saturday [sic], PBS and NPR dutifully broadcast anonymous US government claims that “Moscow wants an excuse to invade” and that “Russia has already pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine”. According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, somebody somewhere has discovered the “Operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia’s own proxy forces” as a pretext to invasion.
This “intelligence assessment” was, without doubt, comprised of classified material. It was an authorized leak that PBS and NPR could regurgitate without fear that their source, “a US official who asked not to be named” would ever be hunted down and charged under the Espionage Act.
Don’t expect PBS or NPR to put today’s issues in such historical context. It would betray their mission to demonize official US adversaries, while casting America in the best possible light.
Neither PBS nor NPR asked for evidence supporting the claim. Nor did they refer even once to the event that instigated the crisis, the US orchestrated overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected government in 2014.
PBS Video Link (Segment begins at 3 minutes and 40 seconds into broadcast)
Apparently, the self-acknowledged media failures in the run-up to the Iraq War were not failures at all. The unsupported claim of Russian “false-flag operations” strongly resembles the pretend vial of anthrax that Colin Powell held daintily between his thumb and index finger during his slam dunk presentation to the United Nations on February 5, 2003.
No one should doubt that Russia has operatives in eastern Ukraine, or that the United States has operatives in government controlled areas of Ukraine. But given history, it seems more likely that accusations of “false flag operations” are a projection of US intentions in the region.
Operation Northwoods was a false-flag operation proposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962 under General Lyman L. Lemnitzer. It proposed that the CIA orchestrate acts of terrorism including assassination of Cuban immigrants, sinking boats containing Cuban refugees, hijacking planes, and blowing up US ships in a way that could be blamed on Cuba. Any one of these events, or a combination thereof, could then be used as a pretext for the invasion of Cuba and the overthrow of the Castro government.
Don’t expect PBS or NPR to put today’s issues in such historical context. It would betray their mission to demonize official US adversaries, while casting America in the best possible light. There is much yet to be accomplished in Eurasia, and it won’t be possible without a healthy dose of freedom-and-democracy mongering.
Mike Madden is a member of Veterans for Peace.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva today. It was the highest-level negotiation between the U.S. and Russia since President Biden warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine appears “likely” and that it would prompt “a severe and coordinated economic response.” The U.S. says 100,000 Russian troops have massed near the Ukrainian border. Russia denies it’s planning an invasion, but wants guarantees NATO will not expand to include Ukraine or any other former Soviet nations.
President Biden said Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a “serious and dear price” if he orders his reported 100,000 troops stationed along the Russian-Ukraine border to invade Ukraine, a scenario Biden says is increasingly likely. This comes as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Ukraine’s president on Wednesday, similarly warning Russia could attack Ukraine on “very short notice.” We speak with The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel, who says the hawkish U.S. approach to the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a waste of national resources, and says the U.S. should pursue diplomacy instead of throwing around threats of expanding NATO into Eastern Europe. “More attention should be paid to how we can exit these conflicts, how we can find a way for an independent Ukraine,” says vanden Heuvel, who calls the Ukraine conflict a civil war turned into a proxy war. “If there is creative diplomacy, I think you could see a resolution of this crisis.”