Regular readers of this blog are aware of my criticism of the mainstream media. I can summarise it thus:
They don't want you to think, they want you to believe.
This manifests through 'news', which is highly selective and often little more than 'spin'...and also 'analysis', which is frequently little more than approved narrative from the US State Department or 'expert comment' from a multitude of think tanks in Washington and Brussels.
The net affect of all this is a population that is getting out of the habit of thinking for itself. The so-called 'intelligentsia' are not immune to this process; indeed I would categorise the majority of mainstream journalists and commentators as sitting somewhere on a scale with outright liars at one end, PR hacks in the middle, and stenographers at the other. Correspondingly, even so called 'highly intelligent' readers are becoming increasingly 'numb' and/or 'dumb' from consuming too much intellectual junk food.
For example, on Friday July 29th, Sam Fleming wrote a piece at the FT entitled: 'Trump says he will sign bill imposing new sanctions on Russia'
In this piece there was no mention of the challenge to the 'Russian Hack' narrative issued by retired intelligence veterans earlier in the week...of course there wasn't. So, in response I submitted an abridged version of my blog piece from the 27th July 'Intelligence veterans challenge the Russian hack story'
But here's the point:
1. Judging by the responses I received, a large number of people were shocked that the FT hadn't covered this...which demonstrates how asleep people are to what is happening in the world, and how unaware they are of ...pardon my French...how 'piss poor' the media has become.
"It's quite shocking that the FT and other western media failed to report this"
Whilst I totally relate to 'N's' sentiment, the FT's exclusion of this challenging information is really not shocking, it's normal.
2. Another reader's comment demonstrates how pervasive the dualistic, good/bad, 'right/wrong' thinking paradigm has become; not to mention how 'woolly' people are on specific issues...in this example an intelligence assessment of the situation in the Donbas has been taken to be a comment on Crimea.
"The same guys said Russia didn't invade Crimea - from Wikipedia:
In August 2014 Binney was among the signatories of an open letter by the group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity to German chancellor Angela Merkel in which they urged the Chancellor to be suspicious of U.S. intelligence regarding the alleged invasion of Russia in Eastern Ukraine. In the open letter, the group said:
'[A]ccusations of a major Russian "invasion" of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the "intelligence" seems to be of the same dubious, politically "fixed" kind used 12 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-led attack on Iraq'"
"With respect, Eastern Ukraine and Crimea are two separate territories. Russia has a naval base in Crimea thus it already had thousands of men there, as evidenced by the Ukrainian forces leaving pretty sharpish - in the knowledge that a) they were out of their depth, and b) would receive no support from the ethnic Russians who live there.
As regards Eastern Ukraine, the Donbas etc, Russia undoubtedly supplied arms and covert support to the uprising of local ethnic Russians, but as for an invasion? If Russia invaded Ukraine it would all be over in a week. The Ukraine army has neither the numbers, the technology, the capability or the stomach for a war with Russia. To be frank, the US don't want to fight Russia there either - no-one in their right mind would want to (ask Napoleon and Hitler about fighting the Russians in their own back yard)
The other point is, whatever you might think of Putin, he's clearly too smart to send in an invasion force. The Ukrainian economy is on its knees - 'if you break it you pay for it'. Putin would much prefer the bill to be picked up by the EU and the US. He's clearly looking for the Donbas to be a self-governing, Ukrainian territory.
Our media is almost totally devoid of any strategic analysis of what's happening on the ground - they print what is acceptable to the State Department, and in the case of some at the FT, what they've been told by Richard Haass or some other clueless numpty from a strategic 'thinktank'...all tank, no think..."
All tank, no think...I shall come back to that later
Have a good week