Are You that Gullible? Are They that Desperate?

by lizard

Ok America, how brainwashed are you? How incurious and gullible are you? From the President to the pundits, the sheer audacity of the propaganda being shoved into your gaping craw regarding Ukraine indicates the following assumption: they think you’re all a bunch of idiots.

Four days ago it was leaflets telling jews in Eastern Ukraine to register:

World leaders and Jewish groups condemned a leaflet handed out in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in which Jews were told to “register” with the pro-Russian militants who have taken over a government office in an attempt to make Ukraine part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.

Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website, and Ukraine’s Donbass news agency.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the language of the leaflets “is beyond unacceptable” and condemned whomever is responsible.

The problem? It was a bunch of crap, according to news outlets like Haartz and New Republic. The date on the New Republic piece is April 17th, 2014. From the link:

Today, the Western press caught up with the Ukrainian rumor mill: apparently, the People’s Republic of Donetsk had ordered all Jews over the age of 16 to pay a fee of $50 U.S. and register with the new “authorities,” or face loss of citizenship or expulsion. This was laid out in officious-looking fliers pasted on the local synagogue. One local snapped a photo of the fliers and sent it to a friend in Israel, who then took it to the Israeli press and, voila, an international scandal: American Twitter is abuzz with it, Drudge is hawking it, and, today in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry slammed the fliers as “grotesque.”

The Donetsk Jewish community dismissed this as “a provocation,” which it clearly is. “It’s an obvious provocation designed to get this exact response, going all the way up to Kerry,” says Fyodr Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs. “I have no doubt that there is a sizeable community of anti-Semites on both sides of the barricades, but for one of them to do something this stupid—this is done to compromise the pro-Russian groups in the east.”

That conclusion is correct, and strengthened by the performance of David Gregory interviewing “Yats” on Meet the Press yesterday, April 20th. From the transcript:


Final question. There have been ghastly reports coming out of eastern Ukraine this week about some kind of forces forcing Jews in the eastern part of the country to register with local authorities. What do you make of this? Are these accurate? Are Jews particularly at risk?


We got information that these so-called peaceful protesters with light ammunition in their hands, that they sent a number of bulletins saying that everyone who is a Jew to be indicated as a Jew. And today in the morning, I made a clear statement urged Ukrainian military and security forces and Ukrainian Department of Homeland Security urgently to find these bastards and to bring them to justice.


Prime Minister, thank you very, very much for your time. We appreciate it.


Thank you, sir.


So why did the Obama administration essentially endorse a forgery? Are they desperate? Or are they that confident in the effectiveness of their propaganda? From the link, Diana Johnstone offers her speculation about why the fake leaflets were treated as real by Obama administration officials:

Scarcely had the fake document been glued to a wall than Secretary of State John Kerry mounted his habitual high horse to declare resoundingly that: “In the year 2014, after all of the miles travelled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable.”

(It is an essential part of the Imperial rhetoric to assert on every such occasion what is or is not acceptable in “the second American century”.)

Now let’s be logical. When John Kerry denounces this document before the ink is dry, when President Obama and Susan Rice publicly endorse this forgery after it has been amply exposed in world media as disinformation, we must logically conclude that this propaganda morsel was a deliberate part of the US strategy to destabilize Ukraine by slandering pro-Russian anti-fascists as anti-Semitic. The purpose is clearly to drown out news of the pro-Nazi sympathies of the Svoboda party and the Right Sector that the US has chosen as anti-Russian allies. How can top US leaders be perfectly aware of what is written in Ukrainian on a piece of paper glued to a synagogue in Donetsk, and not know what was written in Haaretz and The New Republic? These endorsements are strong evidence of complicity in the forgery, since it is not credible that Kerry, Rice and Obama were too innocent to suspect a forgery.

Read the whole article, it’s very intriguing.

I’ll include another excerpt, because it touches on a short back and forth between JC and myself regarding whether or not America is losing control:

Never before have U.S. leaders been quite so reckless in asserting falsehoods as in this Ukrainian operation. They have a scenario and they are carrying it out, despite revelations that Victoria Nuland personally selected the new Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk, that the Kiev snipers who facilitated the putsch the put Yats in office were hired by the pro-Western rebels, that their “freedom fighters” this time are Hitler fans and that about half the population of Ukraine identifies with Russia.

Never mind, the show must go on. They are counting on the vast, bottomless ignorance of the American masses concerning the rest of the world to allow them to get away with anything. The public doesn’t need to know anything about Ukraine, all they need is to be persuaded that it is Goldylocks being threatened by a big bad bear.

But the whole world is not that ignorant.

Domestically, the propaganda is working. Domestically, America doesn’t appear to be at the point of losing control of the message.

Outside America’s Orwellian doublespeak zone, ignorance seems less than bottomless.

And so does patience.

  1. Steve W

    Liz, the propaganda is deep and wide domestically. Thank you (and others, such as Piece of Mind) for writing about it so well and in such a timely fashion.

    It’s amazing how militants like the PW can call for violent action in every case that Obama and Kerry/Clinton call for the use of violence.

    I’m sure if he had been alive during the Johnson Admin that they would have actively supported those wars as well.

    It’s in lockstep. Just as swede and Craig Moore support their Republican overlords in their wars, so too the Democratic faithful support their overlords in their wars. Both sides are being systematically brainwashed and both sides are (individually speaking) unaware of this brainwashing.

    The lines between football and between life and death are blurrier by the day.

    PW hasn’t yet apologized to the dead and wounded and their families for the havoc and chaos still being visited upon the victims of the violent NATO overthrow of Kadafi. He hasn’t demanded the removal of the Turkish government for using sarin gas in Syria and he hasn’t taken responsibility for his irresponsible accusations that later turned out to be untrue.

    Nor do I expect him to. He already forgot all about it. He wishes we would also.

  2. steve kelly

    Any idea what’s happened over at MOA? Two days now. I get: “This error (HTTP 500 Internal Server Error) means that the website you are visiting had a server problem which prevented the webpage from displaying.”

    • lizard19

      I follow MoA on Twitter, and it sounds like it’s a typepad issue. Bernhard complained about the tech-support and how long it was taking.

      I hope it’s back up soon. I learn more about what’s going down across the globe at that blog than I do anywhere else.

    • Typepad and its mother company have been fighting off DDoS attacks for over a week now.

  3. JC

    Robert Parry over at ConsortiumNews has a great piece on how the NY Times is falling prey to the prop machine. All those photos they used to portray insurrectionistas in eastern Ukraine as Russians? Seems they retracted their piece when the photos didn’t pan out to be what they suggested.

    in any case, that is how the propaganda is being played out. A few writers or publications get fed some garbage info from the players (government, corporations, spies, “diplomats,” oligarchs, etc.). They write up a bad story with little or no factual underpinnings, and then the story gets parroted out over all the rest of the media. And outfits like the Huffington Post put up big headlines on top the home page blasting the prop message. The average reader (or headline/blurb scanner) then comes away with a reinforced propaganda message. Then when/if there’s a retraction or clarification, it is buried.

    Been seeing one major propaganda piece every day or two now.

    Preparing the masses for the next imperial thrust.

    NYT Retracts Russian-Photo Scoop
    –by Robert Parry

    [excert]…Two days after the New York Times led its editions with a one-sided article about photos supposedly proving that Russian special forces were behind the popular uprisings in eastern Ukraine, the Times published what you might call a modified, limited retraction.

    Buried deep inside the Wednesday editions (page 9 in my paper), the article by Michael R. Gordon and Andrew E. Kramer – two of the three authors from the earlier story – has this curious beginning: “A collection of photographs that Ukraine says shows the presence of Russian forces in the eastern part of the country, and which the United States cited as evidence of Russian involvement, has come under scrutiny.”

    In the old days of journalism, we used to apply the scrutiny before we published a story on the front page or on any other page, especially if it had implications toward war or peace, whether people would live or die. However, in this case – fitting with the anti-Russian bias that has pervaded the mainstream U.S. press corps – the scrutiny was set aside long enough for this powerful propaganda theme to be put in play and to sweep across the media landscape…

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