The Guardian has published an article titled “Revealed: UK’s push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance”, with an update on the British government’s efforts to help form an international coalition that will “combat Russian disinformation”.

“Russian denials over Salisbury and Douma reveal a state uninterested in cooperating to reach a common understanding of the truth,” the article’s author complains on behalf of the empire he serves, “but instead using both episodes to try systematically to divide western electorates and sow doubt.”

Western mass media outlets everywhere have been sounding an increasingly shrill alarm about “Russian disinformation” regarding the Salisbury Skripal poisoning and the alleged Douma gas attack in Syria, and this Guardian article by Patrick Wintour forms a new step along the same trajectory. No attempt is ever made to describe why it is so dangerous to “sow doubt” about unproven allegations long before investigations into either event have run their course. More curiously, no attempt to address Iraq is ever made.

Wintour spins a narrative about the US, UK and their tight network of allies having a complete monopoly on truth and facts, taking it as an obvious truism that the Russians could only be lying about the sudden deluge of unproven accusations the west has been piling upon them ever since late 2016. The western empire is plainly just and virtuous, so nobody questioning its assertions could be anything other than deceitful and evil. Even though this same empire lied us into a war with Iraq fifteen years ago.

No attempt has ever been made to make sure nothing like Iraq ever happens again. Nobody who helped inflict that unforgivable evil upon our world was imprisoned for war crimes, nor even put on trial for them. No changes in policy, procedure or government transparency were made to ensure that the US, UK and their allies are never again able to deceive us into another catastrophic military engagement. No changes were made to ensure that the mainstream media hold their governments to account instead of falling in line and deceiving the public into war like they did in 2002 and 2003.

And yet we’re expected to take it for granted that nothing like that could possibly ever happen again, to such an extent that journalists like Patrick Wintour don’t see any need to even address the matter in their arguments about the west’s monopoly on truthful narratives.

This is plainly absurd. Any argument about the truth of what’s happening with regard to Syria or Russia which does not begin with an explicit and thorough explanation as to why this is completely different from Iraq should be instantly rejected as illegitimate. Anyone talking about “Russian disinformation” who does not thoroughly address the disinformation which led up to the Iraq invasion should be laughed out of the building. But they never address it. Ever.

There is nothing preventing Iraq from happening again, and indeed, it did happen again. Blatant lies about humanitarian intervention and soldiers taking Viagra for rape were circulated to facilitate the destruction of Libya at the hands of the same empire which killed a million people in Iraq, and as soon as Gaddafi was horrifically murdered to the cackles of Hillary Clinton it was abandoned. The humanitarian war created a humanitarian disaster. The heroic prevention of mass rape created a mass rape epidemic. But the western empire didn’t care because it got what it wanted.

Bush and Blair did not oversee the destruction of Libya, so obviously the system which allows disastrous military interventions based on lies was not fixed by their leaving office. It remains broken. It remains broken, and we’re being asked to pretend that this isn’t blatantly obvious as we are inundated with extremely suspicious narratives about Russia and Syria which are being used to manufacture support for escalations against those countries.

A recent BBC News segment titled “Russia’s (dis)information warfare” warned viewers of the many horrible, sneaky tactics those dastardly Russian propagandists will use to try and trick good upstanding Britons into doubting that their government is the paragon of honesty and integrity.

“If you want to check whether you’re dealing with a bit of Russian propaganda,” instructed Newsnight‘s Gabriel Gatehouse, “there’s one phrase that’s a dead giveaway: false flag operation.” Which is itself a perfect little slice of dishonest propaganda, since false flag operations are known and admitted to have been perpetrated by governments around the world, including the UK and the US. This isn’t “Russian propaganda”. It’s history.

“Another weapon in Moscow’s propaganda arsenal is a method known as ‘whataboutism’,” Gatehouse cautions later in the segment. “Here’s how it works: you say you have intelligence that Russia used a chemical weapon in Salisbury. Well, what about Iraq? One narrative is apparently neutralized by another, apparently unrelated, objection.”

Gatehouse goes on to speak to a woman who is skeptical of the establishment Syria narrative who does appear on RT, and she brings up Iraq. Gatehouse calls her a “useful idiot” to her face, moves on, and never brings up the subject of Iraq again.

Pardon me, but what the actual fuck?? On what planet is that a reasonable thing to do? What about Iraq? What about Iraq? It is an extremely relevant question that demands a thorough answer. You don’t get to just add “-ism” to the question, call the questioner a useful idiot, and then move on as though you have fully addressed the issue. That’s not a thing.

Iraq is in no way, shape or form “unrelated” to the questions people are asking about Douma and Salisbury. The lies we were told about Iraq which led to the escalations in that country could not possibly be more relevant to the escalations we’re seeing justified by unproven allegations against Moscow and Damascus. If you do not address Iraq, you cannot make a legitimate case about a narrative that is being used to advance preexisting neoconservative agendas against governments which are disinterested in being absorbed by the imperial blob.

Until the Patrick Wintours and Gabriel Gatehouses of the world have clearly and articulately explained how their current allegations against Syria and Russia are proven to the extent required in a post-Iraq invasion world, until they have explained how this is nothing like the lies which led up to the Iraq invasion, until they have explained what safeguards are in place to prevent anything like the Iraq war from ever happening again and outlined how those safeguards are being followed today, their arguments are illegitimate and can be unapologetically dismissed.

This isn’t going away. They don’t get to pretend Iraq didn’t happen and that we imagined the whole thing. They will engage the subject fully and completely in this debate, or they will lose the debate. And rightly so.


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13 responses to “Any Discussion Of Russian Disinfo Is Invalid Unless It Addresses Iraq Lies”

  1. Dennis A Mitchell Avatar
    Dennis A Mitchell

    Ya, that Vietnam thing. Oh sorry. Wrong century.

  2. Caitlin,
    Nicely wrought. I would add another “until” to the enchainment you offer here:

    …until they have explained how this is nothing like the lies which led up to the Iraq invasion, until they have explained what safeguards are in place to prevent anything like the Iraq war from ever happening again and outlined how those safeguards are being followed today…

    And until they have explained how a questioning citizenry, a democratic diversity of perspectives, and an insistence on due process, and critical reasoning from evidence have pivoted from central tenets of the great democracies to usefully idiotic threats, subverting all States that are Good and True…

  3. lynn allen Young Avatar
    lynn allen Young

    I was becoming a politically aware teenager during the sixties when
    MLK jr. and others with the civil rights movement started winning public relations victories against
    the segregationist authorities in the south. The Guardian , the DNC , the Hilary neocons neoliberals ,etc.,
    sound like the red-neck sheriffs and good ol’ boy polticians complaining about outside agitators coming in and stirring up what had been a blissfully ignorant and content black populace. Then it was leftist students
    Commies and yankee trouble-makers , now, its sneaky non-commie Russians. Why ,if it wasn’t
    for those pesky Russians most Americans wouldn’t care if half the national wealth production is funneled to 3% of the population and trillions of US taxpayer dollars are used to annihilate populations and governments seen as obstacles to the elevation of a little race supremacist state to a position of world dominance. Chuck “Bull” Schumer indeed.

  4. ” Any Discussion Of Russian Disinfo Is Invalid Unless It Addresses Iraq Lies”

    Similarly , I’ve suggested that any boasts about “draining the swamp” are invalid unless they include the 9/11 conspirators. Frankly , I have my doubts about the reported history of events in America back to at least 1776. I think the “sausage makers” have been feeding us segments of unalloyed bullshit right from the get-go. Still , I’d be perfectly happy to make a deal , by agreeing to immunize everyone for everything done and all the lies told to us prior to the planning and execution of 9/11 , if they’d just give us the whole truth and nothing but the truth on everything since then.

    That seems fair to me. I mean , they’d be getting a pass on an awful lot of ugly stuff that went on in those earlier decades. I think the 9/11 cutoff makes sense because , as it’s often claimed , that’s when “everything changed”, and it’s also when “1984” was moved from the ‘fiction’ section to ‘current events’.

  5. Personally JFK getting shot was my start in nonbelief of media. Did a paper in school on the affects of TV on children and never had a TV since. Smart phones same thing, oh it’s not cool, but I don’t flow with the media. They hit delete and I keep asking unanswerable questions, dismissing is one thing, I want a fucking answer that makes sense and until I get one, I don’t believe a single word out of their overpaid, lying, scumbag, evil, sinister, conspiring mouths.

  6. At the heart of the problem lies US foreign policy, the Wolfowitz Doctrine, brainchild of zionist Paul Wolfowitz, aimed at establishing the United States as a sole superpower regardless of the level of terrorism required to destroy any sovereign state that stands in its way.
    As one of its critics General Wesley Clark, retired 4-star U.S. Army general, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, confirmed in 2007, the targets include Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. A Greater Israel will also benefit.
    Nothing has changed.

  7. John Allen aka Ol' Hippy Avatar
    John Allen aka Ol’ Hippy

    Again it seems the Brits are just as prone to unwavering propaganda against Russia as Americans. Where is the cabal located that a wayward bomb might tale out the psychos running/ruining things? Who is accountable for the destruction of the world? How are we lowly citizens supposed to stop this madness? I can write till I ‘m blue in the face and we are still facing a dangerous escalation of hostilities toward a nuclear armed Russia. Here in the US Iran has been in the spotlight of late because of psycho Netanyahu’s push to take Iran out and US Congress and administration is beholden to their government. We vacillate daily between Iran, Russia and Syria. Korea has cooled since the two leaders met to cool things down there, for now anyway. I will probably watch the Sunday morning ‘news’ tomorrow just to see who the ‘designated’ enemy will be for the next week. Hopefully a war won’t break out before then.

  8. When RT brings up Iraq it is “whataboutism” and therefore illegitimate criticism. When the BBC brings up “Russia”s known track record on not telling the truth” “whataboutism” magically vanishes as the determiner of credibility.

  9. Perhaps this is why rhetoric is not promoted in education curricula any longer. Because then propagandists can use every tactic in the book to bamboozle those who don’t get the use of bullshit. Their use of thought stoppers works great for a population addicted to short quick answers on twitter–just label any thought as ‘conspiracy theory’ or ‘anti vaxxer’ or whatever the label du jour is, and voila, you don’t have to have a coherent argument to any valid points, and can dismiss the entire discussion and go shopping. Content that you have ‘engaged’ the debate enough to tweet about it and appear informed. Since this culture is all about appearances. In depth arguments not preferred. It is partly our own fault for allowing ourselves to be swayed by the easy cliches they hand out. The amusing part is when you finally have an opportunity to present actual facts to these people, and they become confused and outraged and maybe eventually start to think.

    1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn L Zaremba

      Correct. Exellent point.

    2. Agree you nailed it.

    3. Most of them don’t have a clue about anything … just an example –

  10. Thanks as always Caitlin… an area you may or may not be aware of :

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