In response to an FT article by Peter Spiegel, Kiran Stacey and Stefan Wagstyl on 22nd July 2014, entitled 'UK urges tougher EU sanctions on Russia'
I do not know what happened and neither does anyone reading or writing this newspaper. And yet to listen to people like Gideon Rachman and Philip Stephens, they have been wire-tapping the Pentagon and the Kremlin and they know exactly what everyone is thinking and doing.
Then we have politicians like Joe Biden who took all of 5 minutes to analyze the crime scene, interview all the witnesses, arrest, try, and sentence the suspect, and exonerate all other players from any responsibility whatsoever. No cautionary tales needed here - it's the Rooskies!
To listen to the politicians and media, the world is a simple game of black and white, right and wrong and in the west we're the good guys. Well here's a newsflash for the media. That's exactly what the politicians want us to think. It helps them appear to be ‘strong’, and very conveniently takes our attention away from other issues that they find more difficult. Here's Philip Hammond as reported in this newspaper:
“What we need to do now is use the sense of shock, the sense of outrage, to galvanize opinion behind a more robust stance,” Philip Hammond, the UK foreign secretary, told the BBC, adding that Russia was in danger of becoming a “pariah”.
Get that folks? – Mr. Hammond wants to use our sense of shock and outrage to galvanize our opinion. We had better wake up now before we're 'fully galvanized' and all baying for the blood of the 'guilty' and ignoring the cries of the innocent, who, like those poor souls on Flight Malaysian 17, will die if these idiots take us to war.
And here's Gideon Rachman:
"Outside Russia, only a hard core of Putin apologists is likely to accept denials of involvement"
So am I a Putin apologist now Mr. Rachman, because I think there’s more going on here than whether or not Putin is a bad guy. Am I a Russian troll now?
Finally here’s Mr. Stephens:
“Throughout the Ukrainian crisis, Barack Obama’s administration has pulled its punches as Europeans have willfully underestimated the Kremlin’s ruthless contempt for international law and norms. The fate of MH17 is unlikely to have changed Mr. Putin’s worldview. Will it spur western resolve?”
'Contempt for international law'? I can think of a few people that might apply to. What does 'wilfully underestimated' mean? I think Mr. Stephens wants us all to do something, but he doesn’t say what. No doubt when we’re all on board with the posse, some politician wearing a badge will tell us who to lynch.
Well here’s what I think about your journalism Mr. Rachman and Mr. Stephens – bear in mind I have no more handle on ‘the truth’ than you. You write as if the world is a simple game of good and bad, and in the West we're the good guys. I don’t think it works like that, and I think anyone who tells me it does, is trying to sell me something. The West is not blameless here. When the US supported the overthrow of a Russia friendly government, what did they think was going to happen? That Vladimir Putin would blow a few kisses to Victoria Nuland, and say 'OK guys, you win some, you lose some'
I don’t eat up the ‘Kremlin Krap’, and neither do I drink the ‘Washington Kool-Aid’. To those journalists, like Mr. Stephens, who regular imbibe the Kool Aid, I have a question for you – have you ever read the Wolfowitz doctrine? I’m referring to the version that was leaked then hastily sanitized in case people started making up their own minds about what was being said:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
Having a free press is about more than just being able to criticize your politicians on domestic issues. It’s about calling them to account when you know they’ll throw ‘patriotism’ and ‘propaganda’ at you if challenge their assertions. It took a month for WW1 to go from an assassination to war. Beware the thin end of the wedge.
“There is a principle of ideology that we must never look at our own crimes, we should, on the other hand, exalt in the crimes of others and in our own nobility in opposing them”.
Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, MIT