John on August 14, 2008 at 10:26 pm
From the London Times:
Russians were told over breakfast yesterday what really happened in Georgia: the conflict in South Ossetia was part of a plot by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, to stop Barak Obama being elected president of the United States.
The line came on the main news of Vesti FM, a state radio station that â€” like the Government and much of Russia’s media â€” has reverted to the old habits of Soviet years, in which a sinister American hand was held to lie behind every conflict, especially those embarrassing to Moscow.
The Obama angle is getting wide play. It was aired on Wednesday by Sergei Markov, a senior political scientist who is close to Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister and power behind President Medvedev.
“George Bush’s Administration is promoting interests of candidate John McCain,” said Dr Markov. “Defeated by Barak Obama on all fronts, McCain has one last card to play yet – the creation of a virtual Cold War with Russia . . . Bush himself did not want a war in South Ossetia but his Republican Party did not leave him any choice.” The Americans were now engineering an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Dr Markov added.
Moscow is using novel methods to spread a very unsubtle, Cold War version of the Caucasian conflict to the world. Chief among them is Russia Today, a state 24-hour news channel that is fronted much of the time by cheery British and other English-speaking television professionals.
The smiles and studio banter could come from BBC World or CNN but the story is unrelentingly the Kremlin version. Banners flash along at the bottom of the screen saying such things as “genocide” and “aggression” or “city turns into human hell, many people still trapped under rubble”. Recapping the conflict yesterday RT’s presenter said that Georgia’s “brutal assault” had killed 1,600 civilians in its breakaway province in a campaign that destroyed 70 per cent of the buildings in Tskhinvali, its capital. Russian forces had moved in only to bring peace as Georgian forces killed women and children who were trying to flee, it said. Throughout its rolling cover of alleged Georgian atrocities, there was no mention of the heavy Russian military offensive.
The coverage goes down well in developing countries that want an alternative to CNN and BBC World Service, a Russian official said. “We have learnt from Western TV how to simplify the narrative.”
Here’s a sample of “Russia Today”, the propaganda media outlet mentioned in the article:
Of course the America-as-whipping-boy theme is a favorite of the American left. Don’t believe me? I found the video above on this website where it is being offered as proof of an American “false flag” operation. Which website you ask? 911 Truth, a far left site specializing in Bush conspiracy theories. Communist authoritarians pump out the propaganda and the American left just slurps it right up. Just like old times.
Category: Foreign Affairs |