“Russian aggression”—CBS provides a perfect example of imperial disinformation

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CarterAndVJTFScreenShot20150623By Patrice Greanville, Publisher

Editor’s Log: Hypocrisy in action writ large. It’s the American Way. Yay!

LEFT: IMAGE DISTRIBUTED BY CBS, accompanying its piece, “U.S. sending arms to answer ‘Russia’s provocations’” (see below (2))

<span class="et-dropcap">Everything—and I mean that literally—everything in this item filed by CBS This Morning on 6.23.15, is false. The object is, as usual, to sell the almost completely clueless and habitually semi-indifferent American public the idea that Russia is the new Nazi Germany, with Putin as the new Fuhrer, rampaging across Europe and grabbing,  insatiably, one hapless nation after another in his march toward the conquest of the…whole Free World!

But wait! The US has heard the cries of the victims and those who fear the new Russian juggernaut…the poor onetime fascist Baltic nations and long-suffering, reactionary Poland, plus other quivering, nervous nations in Russia’s baleful sphere of influence…and the Pentagon, the rightful home of Captain America, champion of everything that is good and righteous in this and any other universe, is already on the job working to stop the bullies. So says Ashton Carter, the obsessive warmongering neocon currently serving as Secretary of Defense (an Orwellian title in an of itself given what the US normally does), and we should believe him—or should we?

Impudent propaganda

This CBS report, which should be preserved as a perfect example of Washington’s style of disinformation, manages to sport all the signatures of Western propaganda, a classic instance of in-your-face impudent Orwellianism at its best. The problem is that, as alert people already know, CBS, while excellent at disinformation, is far from alone: all US media behave more or less along the same lines, and the examples of highhanded lies abound, they are, in fact, the norm for anything of any social or political significance. Which means that maybe you can trust the weather and the crushingly boring sportscasts and not much else.

“Russian aggression”, intones Charlie Rose sternly, without an ounce of hesitation, as befits a man descending from Mt. Olympus.


In any case, to fully appreciate why I call this an exceptional example of disinformation requires that you, an ordinary member of the US audience to whom such propaganda missiles are primarily aimed, already know (or have more than a good grasp of) a number of things:

• Who Ashton Carter is
• What Neocons are, what they do and where they come from
• Why Neocons are not only allowed to shape US policy but dominate it
• What America’s elites really want

• A hefty amount of European and world history, in general, including our own.

Naturally, when I say that you are required to know these things I mean you should know them ‘in fact”, not in their self-serving, propaganda definitions. If we used that approach, we’d all be going in circles—forever. Which suits the empire’s mind managers fine, but not us, if we are really on a truth-seeking mission.

The pre-requisite is a pretty tall order. The problem here is (and I am sympathetic) that picking up a history book, watching the history Channel or the PBS Newshour, or what seems like a respectable magazine is well-nigh useless. The biggest share of foundational propaganda is delivered by history books, as most historians at any given time are busy singing the praises of the status quo. It’s been that way for thousands of years. So you must look for counter-establishment voices, again not easy for you because, despite the Internet, the world of “information and opinion” is still dominated by mainstream sources. So when you start on your search for iconoclastic viewpoints, you face something of a triple challenge: you likely never heard of them, don’t even know where to begin to look for them, and once found, you are likely to reject what they say due to your own heavy indoctrination in the system’s “truths.”  Yea, the American brainwash is so potent and subtle that your mind will go into full rejectionist mode, ten times worse than your body rejecting a full organ transplant, the minute it encounters anything that contradicts the sacred catechism. That means you must persist, and not only persist but begin to do something really novel in a culture accustomed to received “wisdom”: using your brain to measure and compare different versions of reality, correlating them with the facts, as far as your own personal experience can attest…and hope for the best. As you can see, this is pretty much impossible for most Americans who, by alarming majorities, don’t even know who Joe Biden is. Not to mention that America is a “can do,” anti-intellectual nation impatient with long explanations.

Let the above serve as a little digression to show you why CBS and its minions (the grossly overpaid on camera disinformers, like the unctuous media courtier Charlie Rose, or in this specific case Margaret Brennan) can strut around winning awards for “journalism,” while lying—wittingly or unwittingly—to their hearts’ content, with total impunity. For this is what passes for professional journalism these days, what is being held up in J-schools as the meat-and potatoes stuff of daily journalism, and therefore what legions of young would-be reporters are expected to imitate, if they know what’s good for them. (Now, that’s another story we best leave for another day.)

So, without simplifying matters unduly or insulting anyone gratuitously, let me sketch out here why I think this is such a good case of the Big Lie in action, the big lie in the service of war—the most criminal variant in the whole arsenal of disinformation.

For starters, Ashton Carter, a card-carrying Russophobe and war-lover par excellence, is a former Harvard don now acting as the smarmy helmsman of the highly corporatized Pentagon, America’s gianormous tool for mayhem in the world. At present, as part of the Obama team, he’s working hard to continue the criminal strategy pursued by several presidents already, and amplified by Obama, of encircling and destabilizing Russia, at any cost. (They are trying the same crazy idea on China, too, under the pretext of protecting “weaker nations” in the Pacific region, the so-called “pivot to Asia.”) They do that because after the Soviet Union’s implosion in 1989, America quickly grew accustomed to being the only superpower in the world, what some call the “unipolar doctrine” and now will not tolerate any other power to contest its “right” to do as it pleases, anywhere, anytime, let alone powers like Russia or China bent on building a sovereign-states multipolar world. That’s what Obama means when he (like others before him) speak in reverent tones of America being “the indispensable nation.” Global hegemony. Unipolarity.

But don’t take it from me. As a leftist I am expected to despise self-impressed, bloated slobs like Ashton Carter, a warmongering corporatist from head to toe. No, take it from a libertarian voice, that of  Daniel McAdams, writing for the Ron Paul Institute. Allow me to quote him at length since it will save us some time:

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter comes (back) to government service via the military-industrial complex. Whether in the “private” sector or in government military positions, Carter has made his fortune (and those of others) pushing an aggressive and interventionist US foreign policy. 

Secretary Carter was in Berlin yesterday, pushing the idea that Germany needs to massively increase its military spending to counter what he calls “Russian aggression” in Europe. Currently Germany spends approximately one percent of its GDP on the military and Carter would like to see that amount doubled. (In Japan they are playing the same tune, urging Japan to abandon its longtime antiwar state policy in favor of rearmament to repurpose Japan as a new military counterweight against China.—Eds)

But Carter’s Pentagon also sent a troubling message to Germany that one hopes stems from a confused understanding of 20th century history.

Germany must “dispose of the cold war playbook,” a senior military official said, and instead should “increase [its] security role in the world, commensurate with [its] political and economic weight.”

Germany must forget the post-World War II relative balance in Europe and again assert itself militarily as the master of the European land mass, they urge. Germans, who have been flagellating themselves for more than seven decades over the sins of the monsters who seized power in the 1930s, will hopefully reject the revisitation of such a role. 

Is Ashton Carter encouraging Germany to gear up for another invasion of Russia? It is unclear but implied.

In Carter’s mind, the current stand-off in Europe stems from Russia’s attempt to resurrect the Soviet Union and the Cold War. Russia is trying to “drag us back to the past,” he complained yesterday. And the US will not allow that to happen.

Asked how exactly Russian “aggression” takes shape on the ground in Europe, Carter again throws out the catch-phrase “hybrid,” which we are supposed to know means…well whatever the Pentagon and the Beltway think-tankarians want it to mean. Remember “COIN?”

Said Carter:

…[W]e’re attentive to the hybrid aspects of potential contingencies. Hybrid meaning — I assume you know what the expression means. But so paying attention hybrid warfare, and the ability to deter that.

While condemning Russian “hybrid” aggression (although Russia maintains no major military bases outside its territory), the US-dominated NATO has announced plans to station thousands of US troops — 40,000 total — and heavy military equipment on Russia’s border in the Baltics.

( SOURCE: Daniel McAdams, 
Sec Def Carter to Russia: ‘Don’t Drag Us Back to the Past).


Other analysts reach the same conclusion. Carter’s maniacal resolve to bring war, again, onto the European continent by sicking NATO on Russia is well encapsulated in my colleague Stephen Lendman’s assessment:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is a convenient US stooge – taking orders from Washington. He supports its likely intention to deploy nuclear weapons targeting Russia on the phony pretext of its nonexistent Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) violations – a policy only lunatics would endorse.

On Monday, he said NATO defense ministers will meet on June 24 and 25 – discussing how Alliance members will adapt “to a new and more challenging security environment” at a time no threats exist except ones Washington and rogue partners invent.

Now you see why I dislike this Carter character.  Ashton Carter is a corrupt, warmongering, imperialist Neocon, for everything he does is what distinguishes Neocons from saner and less bankrupt human beings.

Yet none of this seems to matter much to Maggie Brennan or CBS, assuming of course that Brennan even knows who Carter is or what he represents, which I doubt since most big American television reporters are appalling ignoramuses, cardboard figures following narrow scripts, far more focused on their careers than in serving the public good. So there she is, filling her mission as a “professional” journo, doing what her bosses asked her to do, and dutifully sticking a mike in Carter’s face and serving as a prop, so he can hold forth at will, unimpeded, with a cascade of lies disgustingly wrapped in the most self-serving sanctimony that money can buy. (I gotta hand it to him, he does that pretty well. As for Brennan, well, we already defined her role: she’s one more of those stenographers to power that mindlessly crawl all over the body of American mass communications spreading the lies that suit the empire.)

Concluding thoughts

This media log would be incomplete without mentioning what the big lie is in this case, and it’s simple: The US accuses Russia of sowing discord and plotting and practicing military aggression all over the place; of “invading” the Ukraine,  of “taking over” the Crimea, of “threatening other nations (read the conveniently nervous nations already mentioned earlier, clamoring on cue for American help, all in Russia’s sphere of influence); of downing a commercial jet in cold blood, and similar idiotic but inflammatory things, none of which have been proved, and all of which, by the way, have been refuted with proof, or by a clear and impartial examination of recent history, except that no American ever heard of such proofs because no American “news” medium or politician will ever come close to bringing central truths to the captive American public.

Thus, to this day, despite the tireless efforts of alternative media like this blog, precious few Americans know that it was us, Washington through its well-trained proxies, that cynically overthrew the legally constituted government of Ukraine in a color revolution mixed with fascist putsch elements, all to install a fascist regime ready to follow American orders literally on the doorstep of the Russian Federation. Yes, the Ukraine, by now a Frankenstein state, is indeed the ultimate “Lily Pad”, an advanced projection of reckless American power pointed to the underbelly of Russia. Would we allow a well-known aggressive superpower with a bunch of allied nations flexing their military muscle on the Canadian or Mexican border, while making threatening noises in our direction? Viewed with an elementary sense of fairness, Putin and Russia’s displeasure is not so hard to understand. As one of the readers quoted in the comments addendum puts it,

“Finance, and help plan a ‘rebellion’, then, when Russia reacts unfavorably, pretend to be the ‘good’ guys.”

Frankly I can’t improve on that.

Founding editor Patrice Greanville has been tracking the US media complicity in great international crimes for more than five decades. He’s still shocked by what they get away with every single day.



Select Comments from the CBS page (reposted here as part of our media analysis commentary, and to show that, incredibly, there are some voices that reject the official version of history. In fact it’s heartening to see them refute the highhanded lies.



“Russia’s provocations”? Somehow I don’t think so. The only provocation here is being done by the U.S. and its rubber-stamp NATO allies! 



In reference to Russia, I actually agree with you, Quincy.

I guess there’s a first for everything.


I simply cannot believe the comments from some. They should be living in Russia not the USA. As most know I am not a fan of Obama and I do not think he has a clue as to what he is doing but at least now finally he is doing something. Probably not nearly enough but something.


@redwagon63 Are you trying to be funny by any chance, redwagon63?


@redwagon63 Doing something, for the sake of doing something, makes no sense.


The United States will not be bullied.  NATO will not be bullied.  We will see how far Putin wants to take this.  He has no reason to go to war, and he cannot go to war, so ultimately he will become quiet if he wishes to save face.


@Miketexoma Of course not, since the U.S. and its rubber-stamp “allies” are doing all the bullying here!


This is not a good thing. 


This is pro-US propaganda.  The US helped instigate the coup in the Ukraine.  That was part of the long-standing effort on the part of NATO (i.e., the US and its lackeys) to surround Russia with hostile forces. The Soviets agreed to disband the Warsaw Pact and the US promised not to push NATO “one inch” into Eastern Europe.  The US lied.



Besides that, the people of Crimea asked Russia for help. They wanted nothing to do with the EU.


@The_Deaner @indigenarojo SOURCE specifics please!



Can’t post links.

I Googled it and came up with many, including AlJazzera, CBS, Fox, BBC, NPR, etc.


@indigenarojo Well put, indigenarojo.


The US Government is the largest peddler of weapons in the world but, scoffs at the idea of individual citizens owning them.


Very very bad idea.

Kind of like Russia placing missiles in Cuba  {Note: The missiles were placed there as a last-ditch defence of the Cuban revolution, under constant attack by the dark forces of the empire. Not exactly the same reason for US deployments.—Eds]


@The_Deaner  The Soviet Union, not Russia, tried to put missiles in Cuba to counter the missiles the US had placed all along the borders of the USSR.  So it’s not OK for the Soviets, but it is perfectly fine for the US? 


Russia is right on the NGO thing. These outfits are infested with intelligence types who coordinate their actions with Washington and London. They go farther by inciting the locals and calling for western intervention in the host country. They are outright extensions of the spy agencies that control them and the Russians are right to crack down on them. In the past they have facilitated attacks on Iraq, Yugoslavia, Panama, Haiti and other countries. Today they are trying to get the US into Syria.


From Der Spiegel, November 26, 2009 :  

NATO’s Eastward Expansion: Did the West Break Its Promise to Moscow? 

What the US secretary of state said on Feb. 9, 1990 in the magnificent St. Catherine’s Hall at the Kremlin is beyond dispute. There would be, in Baker’s words, “no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east,” provided the Soviets agreed to the NATO membership of a unified Germany. Moscow would think about it, Gorbachev said, but added: “any extension of the zone of NATO is unacceptable.”

I guess O’bummer administration has conveniently forgotten this.


Our world leaders are not so smart, and their macho attitudes bring ruin to us.


a predictable attitude if not expected. On the reasons they are not credible. The US adopted the same attitude towards Russia (sanctions, provocation and controversy). Regarding investments of Russia on arms, the US and its allies also privilege this sector. It is also clear that the US are trying to stir up trouble within Europe between countries that have much in common (historically etc ..) despite different ideologies. “divide and rule” is the motto of the US. In other words, approaches of Russia are legitimate. Finally the US  sought a pretext to relocate in Europe, but also divert attention from what is happening elsewhere (in Syria and yemen etc), they found it.

“au revoir”


What Russian provocations?

Maybe he [Carter] means Russia sent European Union Assistant Secretary Nuland (who is on record of colorfully dismissing the concerns of the EU) and Sen. John McCain, both extreme right wing figures to attend the conveniently arranged demonstrations in streets in Kiev, actively in support of the coup?

Or maybe, Russia sent them to share platforms in Kiev with members of the extreme right-wing organizers of the coup, platforms that were adorned with flags bearing the Wolfsangel symbol used by the Galician SS, Adolf Hitler’s murderous Ukrainian auxiliary during WWII?

Or maybe the Russians told Vice President Biden to demand that President Yanukovych pull back his police on Feb. 21, a move that ensured his downfall?

The Russians must also be behind the pushing of the new “government” of Ukraine to ram legislation through parliament (on the second attempt) to sell a 49% stake in the country’s gas pipeline network to foreign investors. Moreover the subsequent coincidence that immediately afterwards Ukraine’s largest private gas firm, Burisma Holdings, appointed Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to its board of directors?

Maybe Russia was behind the sequestration of the Ukraine’s gold reserves and their being flown out to the New York Federal Reserve?

Or could it be that the US is not made of sugar and spice and all things nice?


@vectrav2 what time is it in Russia comrade?


What COSMICDEBRIS57 really means  —>  Anyone who disagrees with me is wrong, and is a Russian troll, and, since I have no facts or substance to bring to the table, how else can I, a humble medal-laden, professional arm-chair warrior, respond?


You guys better watch out. anybody that disses Putty – Poo either ends up shot or poisoned


@MCR5 The old claim that Putin has been assassinating opponents . . . . no proof has been offered, and, not only that, pro-Russian people in Ukraine have been assassinated, yet we have not heard one instance of Poroshenko being accused of assassinating opponents in the US mainstream press.   If they can accuse Putin without proof, why should they not be accusing Poroshenko?


@vectrav2 Great post.


I don’t understand why we seem to be the world’s police. I think we could better use the spending here in the good ole u.s.a.  


Or how about we just save the money since we are already running a deficit.


I’m thinking that we signed this treaty either before the CEO’s shipped our jobs overseas or no later than the early days of shipping jobs overseas.  Either way, after the massive job loss we’ve already suffered and more in the future if they sign Trans-Pacific, someone needs to tell the Pentagon and Washington D.C. that we can’t afford this any more. 


Just more b.s.

Finance, and help plan a “rebellion”, then, when Russia reacts unfavorably, pretend to be the “good” guys.

Anyone that thought Russia would give up Crimea, is completely clueless.

Sad thing is, I think many of them are.


Just read another article where they said that the USA only has several dozen people assigned to combating the ISIS propaganda machine.   They will spend millions of dollars on European aid, for a threat that they themselves manufactured, (the coup in Ukraine) and then complain about ISIS, while they only have several dozen people working for them to counter ISIS’s Propaganda machine.   Who is more of a threat to America, Russia or ISIS?   I have a feeling that they are going to learn which one it is the hard way.


@lucifersshadow Do you really believe that there are only “several dozen” people assigned to combat the ISIS propaganda machine? 


@thechooch1  Just read an article where they said that very thing, let me see if I can dig it back up.


@lucifersshadow @thechooch1 Dig all you want, the question was if you really believe the article.  I certainly wouldn’t.  There are probably more than that at the FBI alone, then there is the CIA and other agencies.


@thechooch1  Google CBS  Why it’s so difficult to counter ISIS on social media 


@thechooch1 @lucifersshadow  I  just read the same article Lucifer did, and the whole point of the article was to expose how massively the US is underestimating the propaganda war being fought on the internet.  I can believe that,  I think we have much more faith in guns bombs bullets etc than we do in trying to affect people’s thinking because we don’t understand where war is really fought…..in the mind.



“Who is more of a threat to America, Russia or ISIS?”

Try neither.  ISIS is too far away to really be much of a threat unless they get their hands on nuclear material and I don’t think Russia’s interested in going to war with us.


@skeezix06 I will have you know that,  just recently, two men were caught attempting to cross the Turkish border, with enough radioactive material to create a dirty bomb. . . . . 



Turkish border is a lot closer to their location and they don’t have to get on a plane to get there.  I am not impressed and I have no interest in living in fear.  


@skeezix06 I do not live in fear, but I do observe . . . . . and if you think Russia is a larger threat, I’d really like to see your rationale.


@lucifersshadow @skeezix06 

I don’t consider either of them to be a real threat.


As shown in this article, China has also made it quite clear that it expects a conflict with the U.S. as it strives to become a leading world military power:





CBS NEWSJune 23, 2015, 7:01 AM

U.S. sending arms to answer “Russia’s provocations”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, right, shakes hands with NATO Response Force soldiers during his visit to the I. German-Dutch Brigade in Muenster, Germany, June 22, 2015. The troops are part of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). AP

Last Updated Jun 23, 2015 7:57 AM EDT

TALLINN, Estonia — Secretary of Defense Ash Carter confirmed Tuesday that the U.S. is to station heavy military equipment, including tanks and other weapons, in new NATO member states for the first time since the end of the Cold War.

“These are responses to Russia’s provocations,” Carter told CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan in an exclusive interview in Estonia, one of the nations the American defense chief said could already “feel” the imminent threat posed by its massive neighbour to the east.

Heavy U.S. weapons for Europe to answer “Russia’s provocations”

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The increased American military presence — some 250 tanks, armored vehicles and other equipment — on Russia’s doorstep is intended to reassure jittery allies like Estonia, which have been alarmed by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for separatists leading the war in eastern Ukraine.


Defense secretary slams Putin over nuclear missiles


NATO asked to step in amid regional tensions with Russia

Carter’s announcement of plans to permanently station the heavy weapons across seven eastern Europe nations, and a promise of a larger troop and aircraft presence, comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would add more than “40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of penetrating even the most technologically advanced missile defense systems” to Moscow’s arsenal.

The newly positioned U.S. military hardware was to be located, at least for now, in Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.

Carter told Brennan it was that “aggressive rhetoric, aggressive behavior — the kind of thing that doesn’t belong in a Europe” of today, making America’s NATO allies nervous.

“We continue to hope that Russia will change course,” added the defense secretary. “I don’t see any signs of that, but we continue to hold the door open.”

Asked by Brennan whether Putin’s words were seen as a genuine military threat or merely rhetoric, Carter said he took the Russian leader “at his word.”

“What’s odd about it is the level of rhetoric,” added Carter. “That’s what’s so out of tune with the times and the way responsible world leaders have conducted themselves with respect to talking about what are very fearsome weapons.”

The defense chief told Brennan the American weaponry being added to NATO’s “eastern flank” was meant to bolster the alliance’s deterrent power in the face recent Russian actions, but called it “heavy combat equipment for training purposes primarily.”

He said it will be easier for U.S. forces training their European allies to “fall upon that equipment,” rather than spending the added time and money necessary to move heavy weapons into place just for exercises.


Charlie Rose talks to Russian President Vladimir Putin

President Putin has insisted repeatedly — most recently during a question-and-answer session with “CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose at an economic summit in St. Petersburg — that his government is “not aggressive,” but merely “persistent in pursuing our interests.”

During that session, Putin did not explicitly deny long-standing U.S. claims that Russian troops and military hardware are directly supporting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Putin has said Russia’s increasingly assertive military stance in the region is merely a response to NATO’s spread into neighboring countries — which he said has been, in places like eastern Ukraine, against the will of local populations.

Speaking to Rose, Putin accused Washington of “interfering with our internal political processes” by financing non-governmental organizations in Russia and practicing “interventionist” security measures on the world stage.

“We are in fact being told that the United States know better what we need. Let us define our own interests and our needs ourselves,” Putin said.

Remember: All captions and pullquotes are furnished by the editors, NOT the author(s).


Simultaneously published with The Greanville Post.


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