A review of Russiagate, its propaganda and hysteria

Summary: Cold War II steadily gains momentum, despite having almost no basis in reality. Here we review a few of the many articles debunking this propaganda campaign. Let’s hope Americans begin to pay attention. A people so disconnected from reality, so credulous, cannot hope to remain a Republic.

“There’s really no question about Trump/Putin collusion, and Trump in fact continues to act like Putin’s puppet.”
— Typical delusional thinking from inside the Left’s bubble, by Paul Krugman on 17 November 2017.

RussiaGate

Cold War II is a bipartisan project, as is Russiagate. Most of America’s major policy initiatives since 9/11 have been bipartisan — building the Surveillance State, passing the Patriot Act, and waging our foreign wars. No political polarization seen! An “echo, not a choice” is the key to our politics.

As for Russiagate, it makes little sense. Despite their supposedly massive infiltration of US computers, hacking the election, and control President Trump, they have nothing to show for this. Trump staffed his national security team with generals and defense contractors, all eager to restart the Cold War. Trump just signed a $700 billion check for military spending and approval for weapons sales to Ukraine. His national defense team advocates years of rapid spending growth. Our belligerent military foreign policy shows no sign of changing.

This post gathers some of the inconvenient truths about Cold War II. Let’s start with an article giving a big picture perspective on RussiaGate.

Caitlin Johnstone

Russiagate Is Making Everyone Stupid

By Caitlin Johnstone at Medium.

“The establishment propagandists have shut down all dialogue and critical thinking by successfully advancing the narrative that everything they say is true and everything that contradicts what they say is Russian propaganda. By instilling a fear in their audience of all things Russian, any words that aren’t stamped with the approval of the western establishment are instinctively labeled Russian propaganda and therefore reflexively recoiled from.

Using tactics exemplified in the above smear pieces by The Guardian and NPR, thinking has been killed. People have been turned into drooling, flag-waving idiots.

“A new paradigm has been created wherein anti-establishment narratives are rejected by rank-and-file Americans not because of flawed arguments or factual inaccuracy, but solely because they are anti-establishment. The empire has created an impenetrable self-enforcing echo chamber, a mental prison of which their audience is their own wardens and guards. From that point they can weave any ridiculous ideas they like into the consciousness of mainstream media consumers, and it will be unquestioningly swallowed as gospel.

“And of course, it keeps the spotlight fixated on Russia, which keeps their own manipulations in the darkness. How hilarious is it that the first time the word “oligarch” was allowed into mainstream consciousness, it was being applied to Russians? Russiagate ensures that no matter what happens with Mueller, nothing about the US power establishment will ever have to change. The problem has been moved overseas to a distant icy potato patch they control all narratives about, which keeps Americans from paying attention to the Orwellian horrors being inflicted upon them by their own government. Keep them fixated on Russian oligarchs, and they’ll never notice that they’re living in a totalitarian oligarchy themselves.

“The more we fixate on Russia, the more stupid we become. The more stupid we become, the easier we are to manipulate and control. The easier we are to manipulate and control, the more we can be exploited without resistance by the Orwellian oligarchy that is the US power establishment. The more we can be exploited, the more powerful they become. And that’s what this whole game is ultimately about.”

——————————-

Russia hacking the US election

It is “hard to shake the feeling that we are living through a deranged re-run of the Cold War.
— Tony Wood on three new books about the Cold War 2, in the London Review of Books.

By now there are scores of articles documenting the hysteria of Cold War II and the typical McCarthyite persecution of those that refuse to go alone with it. But logic and facts mean nothing to our new Cold Warriors. But for those that care, here are articles providing both.

Other articles by Caitlin Johnstone at Medium. Note Leftists’attacks, going full-McCarthyite, in response to her fact-rich debunking of Russiagate (see examples here).

Article by Aaron Maté at The Nation

More strange new information

Read these to learn things unknown to those who rely only on the major news media.

Recommended — Another source of incisive reporting about the follies of RussiaGate: the articles by Robert Perry and others at Consortium News.

Demand real journalism

Journalists have again joined the government’s parade

The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation” by Michael Tracey at Medium — “The basic formula for every breaking Trump/Russia story is essentially as follows…” It is a 12-step program for Cold Warriors.

  1. “The New York Times or Washington Post releases an article that at first blush appears extremely damning.
  2. Anti-Trump pundits and Democrats react reflexively to the news, express shrieking outrage, and proclaim that this finally proves untoward collusion between Trump and Russia — a smoking gun, at last.
  3. Aggrieved former Clinton apparatchiks *connect the dots* in a manner eerily reminiscent of right-wing Glenn Beck-esque prognostication circa 2009.
  4. Self-proclaimed legal experts rashly opine as to whether the new revelation entails some kind of criminally actionable offense. …
  5. The notion of Russian ‘collusion’ being key to toppling Trump becomes further implanted in the minds of the most energized Democratic activists …
  6. Pointing out these glaring flaws in the latest anti-Russia frenzy is immediately construed by cynics as ‘defending Trump’ or ‘defending Sessions’ when it most assuredly is not.  …
  7. People who’d spent the past 12 hours frothing at the mouth gradually come to realize that their initial furor was probably overblown, and that a more sober look at the actual facts at hand reveal that the anti-Trump chorus probably got ahead of itself – again. …
  8. Democrats who sought to capitalize on the uproar end up looking extremely foolish. …
  9. It becomes ‘normalized’ (that new favorite buzzword!) to cast any meetings or contacts with Russian officials as inherently sinister. Rather than just a basic function of a Senator’s ordinary duties, meeting with ‘The Russians’ is increasingly viewed as evidence of nefarious intent, and perhaps participation in a grand global conspiracy.
  10. Political ineptitude and clumsiness (as was very probably the case with Flynn) gets interpreted as something more calculated than it really is. …
  11. A Trump official’s least egregious quality ends up being portrayed as his most egregious quality. …
  12. The overall political climate gets further degraded and warped without any commensurate upside.
  13. Repeat.”

Facebook estimates 126 million people were served content from Russia-linked pages” by Dylan Byers at CNN — Buried in the article is the real story.

“Facebook does not know, however, how many of those 126 million people actually saw one of those posts, or how many may have scrolled past it or simply not logged in on the day that one of the posts was being served in their News Feed. …”This equals about four-thousandths of one percent (0.004%) of content in News Feed, or approximately 1 out of 23,000 pieces of content. …Put another way, if each of these posts were a commercial on television, you’d have to watch more than 600 hours of television to see something from the IRA.'”

The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened” by Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept. He lists some of the many instances of fake news published by the major news media, all tilted in the same direction. Retractions are published later, buried in the news.

The Lost Journalistic Standards of Russia-gate” by Robert Parry at Consortium News — “The Russia-gate hysteria has witnessed a widespread collapse of journalistic standards as major U.S. news outlets ignore rules about how to treat evidence in dispute.”

What does Putin think of all this?

The worst fate for a superpower is no longer to be taken seriously. Perhaps the Russians don’t take the second Cold War as seriously as the first. See “VLAD’S SECRET WEAPON: Stunning Bond girl lookalike is named Russia’s Defence spokeswoman” — “The Russian Ministry of Defence appointed 26-year-old former journalist Rossiyana Markovskaya as spokeswoman.” Also see the Spuknik News story.

Rossiyana Markovskaya

For More Information

Ideas! For Holiday shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about Trump and the new populism, about the Trump years in America, about ways to reform America, and especially these…

  1. Deciphering the scandalous rumors about Trump in Russia.
  2. Exposing the farcical claims about Russian hacking of the election.
  3. What Trump told Russia, why it matters, and why journalists ignore the smartest man in Washington.
  4. Trump and the Democrats stumble into a ‘Wilderness of Mirrors’.
  5. Debunking the Reality Winner leak about Russia hacking the election.
  6. The verdict on the stories of Russian hacking in the 2016 election.
  7. The WaPo strikes another blow for the Deep State against Russia.
  8. The bottom line about RussiaGate: no explanation makes sense.

Two new books about the new Cold War.

Return to Cold War by Robert Legvold.

Who Lost Russia?: How the World Entered a New Cold War by Peter Conradi.

See Tony Wood’s review of these new books in the London Review of Books.

Return to Cold War
Available at Amazon
"Who Lost Russia? How the World Entered a New Cold War" by Peter Conradi.
Available at Amazon.

 

18 thoughts on “A review of Russiagate, its propaganda and hysteria

    1. Charles,

      Yes, both were bipartisan as well. “Politics end at the waters’ edge” has long been a tenet of US foreign policy (often ignored, of course).

      The current bipartisanship on so many key policies is unusual because it occurs while the media and political gurus are clutching their pearls about “polarization.”

  1. Has anyone figured out why Russia would want to help Trump win over Hillary? There’s something in “What Happened?” about how Hillary said something bad about Putin, causing him to sabotage her campaign, but of course that is too insane to take seriously.

    1. PAT,

      Just another mystery in a narrative that overflows with missing links. The key thing to remember is that you should believe the narrative, not question it. Know your place!

  2. I read somewhere that J Edgar Hoover, during World War II once held a man in suspicion because he kept a map of Japan on his wall. The fellow was a professor of East Asian studies, or some such. (I think I read this in The Man Who Kept The Secrets by Thomas S Power) Hoover apparently took the position that the FBI was there to collect, but not analyze, information. By not analyzing what was collected, and considering that a good investigator can dig up something derogatory on anyone, Hoover had the power to do harm at will. Which is all I can make out of the investigation of Jill Stein, since the reasons for suspecting her seem to me to be down in map on the wall territory.

    People talk about McCarthyism, but McCarthy never controlled any police or courts, and was therefore relatively benign compared to say, Mitchell Palmer. I’m wondering if something like the old Palmer raids might be in our future.

    Part of this is the great national nervous breakdown over Trump. I suppose it’s easier to believe that Trump is an agent of P.U.T.I.N than to think that his opponents in 2016 made fundamental, egregious mistakes. Putin is not like Blofeld in SPECTRE telling Bond “It was me James. The author of all your pain”. Quoting Rudyard Kipling’s poem Natural Philosophy in it’s entirety would probably violate the space limitations of the Fabius Maximus web site, but might just end up being the epitaph for the American republic.

    1. The Man,

      I don’t believe it is accurate to say that McCarty was benign compared to Palmer. They were different kinds of phenomena, both parts of larger movements, both highly destructive.

      “the great national nervous breakdown over Trump”

      I disagree. Trump and the reaction to him are just symptoms. Trump is a clown. He’s a clown even in his own administration, as the generals run our foreign policy and the GOP leaders implement their domestic agenda — deregulation, tax cuts for the 1% and corps, busting unions, and massive mergers (they don’t care about mating habits of the proles, or which gods they worship).

  3. McCarthy wasn’t benign in his intentions, but he certainly had far fewer means at his disposal. He had less ability to do damage. Perhaps benign is the wrong word. Less dangerous might be a more apt phrase. The Red scare of the fifties is remembered now because Hollywood felt the lash, and they have never forgotten, forgiven, or ceased to remind the country. But that doesn’t change the fact that Palmer had more actual victims.

    I strongly agree that Trump is a symptom, and removing him (If that is in fact what eventually happens won’t address the underlying problem. You can call him whatever names you like, but he realized that the system was hollow, and kicked it. His ability to make changes for good or ill is limited by the fact that the Presidency is, at the end of the day, a weak office. The bureaucracy might have been willing to look the other way for Obama, but Trump won’t be cut the same slack. And Trump came to Washington without a power base within Washington. After he leaves, whenever and however that takes place, the rot that he has exposed will remain.

    I do wonder sometimes if the designation of domestic political opponents as foreign agents that was part of that national nervous breakdown I spoke of might not be Trump’s most enduring legacy.

    1. The Man,

      “McCarthy wasn’t benign in his intentions, but he certainly had far fewer means at his disposal.”

      That’s missing the point. McCarthy was a senator, and used his “bully pulpit” to start a firestorm.

  4. It is quite striking that nobody brings up the fact that Donald J. Trump is probably the last person that *any* semi-competent intelligence service would want as an asset, directly or otherwise. He’s the polar opposite of what you’d want. He can’t keep his mouth shut. He’s the opposite of subtle. He can’t keep focused. He doesn’t think long term. Any remotely competent intelligence officer would take one glance at the guy and immediately disqualify him. Putin is a former Chekist himself, and runs a government dominated by people with intelligence and security backgrounds. Why would former professionals commit such a stupid error?

    1. Ian,

      ” nobody brings up the fact that Donald J. Trump is probably the last person that *any* semi-competent intelligence service would want as an asset, directly or otherwise.”

      Not being an intel guy, or a humint guy, let alone a covert agent — I can only guess. But I’ll bet that intel agents recruit the people in useful spots as they are available. I’ll bet they find few smart, reliable, well-balanced people to become agents of a foreign power.

    1. Here is a video of The Last Jedi, the brief honest version. Much better than the original. The second half of the video is commentary.

       

    2. Certainly no one could see Trump as a Russian asset. However, Russia could see that if Trump were transformed into the President of the U.S., he would be no asset for the Americans. Historically, the Germans relished Vidkun Quisling’s puppet government in Norway not to serve German interests well but to serve Norwegian interests poorly.

    3. Lawrence,

      “Russia could see that if Trump were transformed into the President of the U.S., he would be no asset for the Americans. ”

      It’s nice to guess at which presidential candidate Putin preferred. Having read such wild guessing about the thinking of other nations’ leaders for 4 decades, I vote for “we have not the faintest idea.”

      But that’s not the relevant question. Over $2.4 billion was spent on the 2016 presidential campaign — and that does not count the countless hours of volunteers time. It’s quite mad to believe that the tiny sums Russia spent had any significant effect. Yet that’s what we’re told. That’s what millions of American believe, because we are some of the most gullible people ever to walk the face of the planet (the last point is a guess, of course).

  5. Trump plays the clown, there is no mistake about that. His antics seem to confuse a large number of people into thinking that they can fit the president into whatever distorted mental image of him that they can shape. Many of them can only conjure up the shape of a straw man.

    It seems that only the very gullible of the world’s wishful thinkers continue to take mainstream news stories on Trump seriously. But there are quite a few of those windblown folk, thanks to the steep slide of education quality from K-U over the past decades.

    Mueller was sent (by whom?) on a grand crusade to pin the charges of collusion and obstruction on Trump, no matter how ridiculous or unbelievable. By accepting the mission to achieve a preordained finding, Mueller is losing most of the respect that serious people once held for him.

    For his own part, by playing the clown, Trump keeps pulling these straight-faced stooges of the media and deep government into his game, where he seems almost able to toy with them at will.

    It is grand theatre.

    1. Alfin,

      I have no idea what is really happening in Washington (somewhere during the past few years I lost the thread of the narrative). But you appear to have hit many of the high points.

      Trump is a clown. While the Left loses their mind over his antics, the mainstream GOP apparatchiks work quietly to mold a new America. A plutocratic America. Further destroying unions. Deregulating mega-corps — unleashing banks to again wreck havoc, dismantling the EPA to allow more pollution. Tax cuts for the rich and 1%. Next — attacking the core New Deal safety net.

      And if the Left brings Trump down, President Pence takes center stage. A competent far-right president, much more pleasing to our ruling elites. The Left must be mad to seek this.

Leave a Reply