Jun 142015
 
 June 14, 2015  Posted by at 7:09 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
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Milton Greene “Actress Marilyn Monroe in bed” 1955

Through the last decades, as we have been getting ever more occupied trying to be what society tells us is defined as successful, we all missed out on a lot of changes in our world. Or perhaps we should be gentle to ourselves and say we’re simply slow to catch up.

Which is somewhat curious since we’ve also been getting bombarded with fast increasing amounts of what we’re told is information, so you’d think it might have become easier to keep up. It was not.

While we were busy being busy we for instance were largely oblivious to the fact the US is no longer a beneficial force in the world, and that it doesn’t spread democracy or freedom. Now you may argue to what extent that has ever been true, and you should, but the perception was arguably much closer to the truth 70 years ago, at the end of WWII, then it is today.

Another change we really can’t get our heads around is how the media have turned from a source of information to a source of – pre-fabricated – narratives. We’ll all say to some extent or another that we know our press feeds us propaganda, but, again arguably, few of us are capable of pinpointing to what extent that is true. Perhaps no big surprise given the overdose of what passes for information, but duly noted.

So far so good, you’re not as smart as you think. Bummer. But still an easy one to deny in the private space of your own head. If you get undressed and stand in front of the mirror, though, maybe not as easy.

What ails us is, I was going to say perfectly human, but let’s stick with just human, and leave perfection alone. What makes us human is that it feels good to be protected, safe, and prosperous. Protected from evil and from hard times, by a military force, by a monetary fund, by a monetary union. It feels so good in fact that we don’t notice when what’s supposed to keep us safe turns against us.

But it is what happens, time and again, and, once again arguably, ever more so. What we think the world looks like is increasingly shaped by fiction. Perhaps that means we live in dreamtime. Or nightmare time. Whatever you call it, it’s not real. Pinching yourself is not going to help. Reading Orwell might.

The Sunday Times ran a story today -which the entire world press parroted quasi verbatim- that claimed MI6 had felt compelled to call back some of its operatives from the ‘field’ because Russia and China had allegedly hacked into the encrypted files Edward Snowden allegedly carried with him to Russia (something Snowden denied on multiple occasions).

Glenn Greenwald’s take down of the whole thing is – for good reasons- far better than I could provide, and it’s blistering, it leaves not a single shred of the article. Problem is, the die’s been cast, and many more people read the Times and all the media who’ve reprinted its fiction, than do read Greenwald:

The Sunday Times’ Snowden Story Is Journalism At Its Worst

Western journalists claim that the big lesson they learned from their key role in selling the Iraq War to the public is that it’s hideous, corrupt and often dangerous journalism to give anonymity to government officials to let them propagandize the public, then uncritically accept those anonymously voiced claims as Truth. But they’ve learned no such lesson. That tactic continues to be the staple of how major US and British media outlets “report,” especially in the national security area. And journalists who read such reports continue to treat self-serving decrees by unnamed, unseen officials – laundered through their media – as gospel, no matter how dubious are the claims or factually false is the reporting.

We now have one of the purest examples of this dynamic. Last night, the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times published their lead front-page Sunday article, headlined “British Spies Betrayed to Russians and Chinese.” Just as the conventional media narrative was shifting to pro-Snowden sentiment in the wake of a key court ruling and a new surveillance law, the article claims in the first paragraph that these two adversaries “have cracked the top-secret cache of files stolen by the fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden, forcing MI6 to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries, according to senior officials in Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services.”

Please read Greenwald’s piece. It’s excellent. Turns out the Times made it all up. At the same time, it’s just one example of something much more expansive: the entire world view of the vast majority of Americans and Europeans, and that means you too, is weaved together from a smorgasbord of made-up stories, narratives concocted to make you see what someone else wants you to see.

Last week, the Pew Research Center did a survey that was centered around the question what ‘we’ should do if a NATO ally were attacked by Russia. How Pew dare hold such a survey is for most people not even a valid question anymore, since the Putin as bogeyman tale, after a year and change, has taken root in 99% of western brains.

And so the Pew question, devoid of reality as it may be, appears more legit than the question about why the question is asked in the first place. NATO didn’t really like the results of the survey, but enough to thump some more chests. Here’s from an otherwise wholly forgettable NY Times piece:

Poles were most alarmed by Moscow’s muscle flexing, with 70% saying that Russia was a major military threat. Germany, a critical American ally in the effort to forge a Ukraine peace settlement, was at the other end of the spectrum. Only 38% of Germans said that Russia was a danger to neighboring countries aside from Ukraine, and only 29% blamed Russia for the violence in Ukraine. Consequently, 58% of Germans do not believe that their country should use force to defend another NATO ally. Just 19% of Germans say NATO weapons should be sent to the Ukrainian government to help it better contend with Russian and separatist attacks.

Do we need to repeat that Russia didn’t attack Ukraine? That if after all this time there is still zero proof for that, perhaps it’s time to let go of that idea?

Over the past week, there have been numerous reports of NATO ‘strengthening’ its presence in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Supposedly to deter Russian aggression in the region. For which there is no evidence. But if you ask people if NATO should act if one of its allies were attacked, you put the idea in people’s heads that such an attack is a real risk. And that’s the whole idea.

This crazy piece from the Guardian provides a very good example of how the mood is manipulated:

US And Poland In Talks Over Weapons Deployment In Eastern Europe

The US and Poland are discussing the deployment of American heavy weapons in eastern Europe in response to Russian expansionism and sabre-rattling in the region in what represents a radical break with post-cold war military planning. The Polish defence ministry said on Sunday that Washington and Warsaw were in negotiations about the permanent stationing of US battle tanks and other heavy weaponry in Poland and other countries in the region as part of NATO’s plans to develop rapid deployment “Spearhead” forces aimed at deterring Kremlin attempts to destabilise former Soviet bloc countries now entrenched inside NATO and the EU.

Warsaw said that a decision whether to station heavy US equipment at warehouses in Poland would be taken soon. NATO’s former supreme commander in Europe, American admiral James Stavridis, said the decision marked “a very meaningful policy shift”, amid eastern European complaints that western Europe and the US were lukewarm about security guarantees for countries on the frontline with Russia following Vladimir Putin’s seizure of parts of Ukraine. “It provides a reasonable level of reassurance to jittery allies, although nothing is as good as troops stationed full time on the ground, of course,” the retired admiral told the New York Times.

NATO has been accused of complacency in recent years. The Russian president’s surprise attacks on Ukraine have shocked western military planners into action. An alliance summit in Wales last year agreed quick deployments of NATO forces in Poland and the Baltic states. German mechanised infantry crossed into Poland at the weekend after thousands of NATO forces inaugurated exercises as part of the new buildup in the east. Wary of antagonising Moscow’s fears of western “encirclement” and feeding its well-oiled propaganda effort, which regularly asserts that NATO agreed at the end of the cold war not to station forces in the former Warsaw Pact countries, NATO has declined to establish permanent bases in the east.

It’s downright borderline criminally tragic that NATO claims it’s building up its presence in the region as a response to Russian actions. What actions? Nothing was going on until ‘we’ supported a coup in Kiev, installed a puppet government and let them wage war on their own citizens. That war killed a lot of people. And if Kiev has any say in the matter, it ain’t over by a long shot. Poroshenko and Yats still want it all back. So does NATO.

When signing a post-cold war strategic cooperation pact with Russia in 1997, Nato pledged not to station ground forces permanently in eastern Europe “in the current and foreseeable security environment”. But that environment has been transformed by Putin’s decision to invade and annex parts of Ukraine and the 1997 agreement is now seen as obsolete.

Meanwhile, Russia re-took Crimea without a single shot being fired. But that is still what the western press calls aggression. Russia doesn’t even deem to respond to ‘our’ innuendo, they feel there’s nothing to be gained from that because ‘our’ stories have been pre-cooked and pre-chewed anyway. Something that we are going to greatly regret.

There are all these alphabet soup organizations that were once set up with, one last time, arguably, good intentions, and that now invent narratives because A) they can and B) they need a reason to continue to exist. That is true for NATO, which should have been dismantled 25 years ago.

It’s true for the IMF, which was always only a tool for US domination. It’s true for the CIA and FBI, which might keep you safe if that was their intent, but which really only function to keep themselves and their narrow group of paymasters safe.

It’s also true for political unions, like the US and EU. Let’s leave the former alone for now, though much could be said and written about the gaping distance between what the Founding Fathers once envisioned for the nation and what it has since descended into.

Still, that is a story for another day. When we can find our way through the web of narratives that holds it upright. Like the threat from Russia, the threat from China, the threat from all the factions in the Middle East the US itself (helped) set up.

The EU is much younger, though its bureaucrats seem eager to catch up with America in fictitious web weaving. We humans stink at anything supra-national. We can have our societies cooperate, but as soon as we invent ‘greater’ units to incorporate that cooperation, things run off the rails, the wrong people grab power, and the weaker among us get sacrificed. And that is what’s happening once again, entirely predictably, in Greece.

That Spain’s two largest cities, Barcelona and Madrid, have now sworn in far-left female mayors this week will only serve to make things harder for Athens. Brussels is under siege, and it will defend its territory as ‘best’ it can.

What might influence matters, and not a little bit, is that Syriza’s Audit Commission is poised to make public its findings on June 18, and that they yesterday revealed they have in their possession a 2010 IMF document that allegedly proves that the Fund knew back then, before the first bail-out, that the Memorandum would result in an increase in Greek debt.

That’s potentially incendiary information, because the Memorandum -and the bailout- were aimed specifically at decreasing the debt. That -again, allegedly- none of the EU nations have seen the document at the time -let’s see how the spin machine makes that look- doesn’t exactly make it any more acceptable.

Nor of course does the fact that Greece’s debt could and should have been restructured, according to the IMF’s own people and ‘standards’, but wasn’t until 2012, when the main European banks had been bailed out with what was subsequently shoved onto the shoulders of the Greek population, and had withdrawn their ‘assets’ from the country, a move that made Greece’s position that much harder.

The narrative being sold through the media in other eurozone nations is that Greece is to blame, that for instance German taxpayers are on the hook for Greek debts, while they’re really on the hook for German banks’ losing wagers (here’s looking at you, Deutsche!). And that is, no matter how you twist it, not the same story. It’s again just a narrative.

Once more, and we’ve said it many times before, Brussels is toxic -and so is the IMF- and Greece should leave as soon as possible, as should Italy, Spain, Portugal. And we should all resist the spin-induced attempts to demonize Putin, Athens and China any further, and instead focus on the rotten apples in our own basket(s).

In short, the propaganda we should be worried about is not Russia’s, it’s our own. And it comes from just about every news article we’re fed. We’re much less than six degrees removed from Orwell.

Home Forums Snowden, Putin, Greece: It’s All The Same Story

This topic contains 13 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  zkiddia 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

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June 14, 2015 at 7:09 pm #21599

Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Milton Greene “Actress Marilyn Monroe in bed” 1955 Through the last decades, as we have been getting ever more occupied trying to be what society tell
[See the full post at: Snowden, Putin, Greece: It’s All The Same Story]

June 14, 2015 at 8:17 pm #21602

seychelles

“When signing a post-cold war strategic cooperation pact with Russia in 1997, Nato pledged not to station ground forces permanently in eastern Europe “in the current and foreseeable security environment”. But that environment has been transformed…”

Situational ethics in action. Control the media to alter perception of a situation so that your ethics, i. e. no ethics, appears valid in any particular instance. Pure Kohanim-speak, which clearly indicates who is pulling the strings these days in major media, Washington, the central banks, NATO and the CIA. A hateful, inhumane, racist agenda that worships unlimited money, power, and sex (Strauss-Kahn) and which is poorly-perceived by the working class, whose energies are primarily directed at paying off high debt levels which TPTB have sucessfully propagandized as normal and necessary.

June 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm #21603

TheTrivium4TW

>>It’s true for the IMF, which was always only a tool for US domination.<<
Please be more concise in the way you use words or else you communicate misinformation.
The “US” doesn’t actually exist – it is an abstraction. When you use and overly general broad term like “US,” you, in fact, play the role of gatekeeper because you protect the very small group of people who set up the IMF to serve THEIR OWN PERSONAL INTERESTS. The IMF is actually a debt generating weapon used to facilitate the societal asset stripping of… you guess it… The U.S. – United States!
The IMF was engineered to protect one group of people and that group of people is international in nature. They aren’t beholden to any nation state, THEY RUN THE DEBT-MONEY SYSTEM OF ALMOST ALL NATION STATES AND FINANCE ALMOST ALL GOVERNMENTS ON EARTH THROUGH THEIR CORPORATE FRONT BANKING INSTITUTIONS. THEY ALSO FINANCE THE POLITICIANS AND THE MEDIA THAT PROMOTES THEM!
And you, albeit probably unwittingly, protect them by lumping in, say, me, with that criminal group that is the enemy of what I value – goodness.
The Debt-Money Monopoly actually exists. THE MORE MEDIA PEOPLE LIKE YOU CONCEAL THEM FROM THE PUBLIC, THE MORE DAMAGE THEY CAN DO TO THE ORDINARY CITIZENS.
And, no, people… don’t fall for the same over generalization fallacy that has benighted Ilargi… The problem is not “The Jews.” The average person who views themselves as Jewish is a victim of these arch-criminals as well. It appears the Rothschild’s, European Royalty, Rockefellers, etc… have leveraged many “assets” from the Jewish community, but that only reflects on the individual people who signed up for the evil. Note that Rockefeller is a Debt-Money Monopolist demon spawn and he isn’t Jewish. Also note that most Jewish have no idea how debt-money works to impoverish their society, too. 250k Jews took the streets to protest their criminal Debt-Money Monopolist financed government because they were sick of the oppression, too!

  • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by  TheTrivium4TW.
June 15, 2015 at 1:22 am #21605

tandy

Good insight into the Snowden article from a former UK Ambassador
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/five-reasons-the-mi6-story-is-a-lie/#comments

June 15, 2015 at 7:03 am #21607

Raúl Ilargi Meijer

tandy,

yeah, read that too last night. plus Ryan Gallagher’s piece:

http://notes.rjgallagher.co.uk/2015/06/sunday-times-snowden-china-russia-questions.html

June 15, 2015 at 9:05 am #21608

rapier

Here is the latest from Steven Cohen.
http://www.thenation.com/blog/209673/stephen-cohen-kerrys-negotiations-putin-are-being-sabotaged-washington

I’m surprised he is surprised that the meeting between Putin and Kerry a few weeks ago where Kerry signaled the US was throwing in the towel on Kiev and the whole project of provocation and instead was embracing the Minsk Accord, a total reversal, was reversed again within days. I knew this would happen. Obama is far to weak to oppose the US war party. His role is to follow the elite consensus. They either read him the riot act or simply ignored the Kerry visit and went about their Putin fear mongering ways, probably the latter, so Obama goes along.

War with Russia, semi hot, is vital to keeping the EU together. It’s vital to keeping even things like unlimited Fed ease on course. I even think it will be used as a reason for regime change in Greece.

June 15, 2015 at 1:18 pm #21613

zkiddia

Raúl,

Thanks for many excellent posts. I´ve found your writing very informative for quite a while now. But – I´m writing to express my disappointment with much of your writings on Russia. Sadly I´m now finding it childishly one-dimensional, in a less crude but similar fashion as ZeroHedge´s low quality commentary on the situation. To be clear, I´m with you on most of your criticism on the West´s manner and hypocritical dealings towards Russia. Yet I am dissapointed with how far you go in washing up Putin´s own hypocritical and corrupt dealings. I believe there is a third dialogue here, one that does justice to the faults of both regimes, the aggression of both regimes.

With regards, from Reykjavik.

June 15, 2015 at 7:22 pm #21615

Hotrod

Hillary vs. Jeb is all you need to know about our dysfunctional society. We’ll end up with one of these Neocons for certain. It is preordained.

June 15, 2015 at 9:20 pm #21616

Boogaloo

zkiddia,
Corruption, yes, I follow you. But aggression? What aggression?

June 16, 2015 at 12:38 am #21618

Babble

ilargi states: “Do we need to repeat that Russia didn’t attack Ukraine? That if after all this time there is still zero proof for that, perhaps it’s time to let go of that idea?”

Really, your think your readers are so stupid that they will believe the illargi propaganda about Russia. Russia has attacked Ukraine, taken over Crimea and the eastern front, this is beyond question. While Snowden may be telling the truth about his files, that is just a head fake for your pro Russian bull. You act as if Russia was a bastion of openness which call into question the purpose of anything you post.

June 16, 2015 at 2:07 am #21619

Nassim

zkiddia,

Ordinary Russians today are far better off than was the case when Putin got his position. What you call corruption is normal business in the West. For example, when pharmaceutical companies gang up to change patent laws to allow them to make monopoly profits that is OK. Besides, where is the proof that Putin has enormously enriched himself. What is the point anyway. He is not about to flee to Israel with his loot. He has nowhere to go to.

June 16, 2015 at 2:18 am #21620

V. Arnold

@ Babble

Telling user name…

June 16, 2015 at 6:41 pm #21629

Anonymous

Snowden in most circumstances, when there is a free press would be celebrated as a hero and a nationalist, who uncovered unconstitutionally behaviors.

June 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm #21709

zkiddia

Nassim, and Boogaloo,

The question is not about how well off the Russians are now versus before Putin´s era, no more than the west´s actions should be judged by the buying power of people living in New York or Paris.

As for aggression, here are some new insights into one of Putin´s faces:

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/witness/2015/06/chechnya-war-trace-150617141406868.html

K

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