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.
Revealed: UK’s push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance https://t.co/JaIbSpGW6m
— The Guardian (@guardian) May 3, 2018
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.
New rule: unless you can prove that the agenda the west is advancing in Syria is absolutely nothing like the agendas the west advanced in Iraq and Libya, you don't get to bitch about people expressing skepticism of establishment Syria narratives.https://t.co/SS3SVJZNWm
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) April 9, 2018
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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