A tragic bit of news came though from the past weekend, with the death of Robert Parry. There was a short story by Herman Hesse, translated into English with the title “Tragic”, a sad and ironic tale of a man fighting the overuse and misuse of that word. That story has relevance more than ever today, as this word is as overused and misused as ever. The death of Robert Parry is tragic, and one component of the tragedy is that most people in the United States today have no idea why this is a tragedy, because they have no idea who Robert Parry is, which compounds the tragedy.
Robert Parry created and operated the Consortiumnews website.
In a time when people are constantly barking about “Fake News”, the tragic irony is that probably a very large portion of such people have no idea that a good chunk of what they regard as “legit news” is, to use the lingo, fake news, to varying degrees, and actual real news is too often dismissed and mocked as “Fake News”, not because it is invalid, but because it does not suit their particular prejudices and whatever dogma and propaganda has formed their view of the world.
Consortiumnews is actual real news, journalism as it is supposed to be practiced.
With the news of Parry’s death, I came across an excellent and extensive podcast interview with him from a while back, covering much territory, including how the state of American “news” got to the state it is today.
An article from The Intercept last July spelled out some of a story many people are managing to ignore completely. As I have been talking about for some time, the neocon cult continues to manifest its megalomaniac lunacy in Washington, and more and more, these days, the manic farce of this this epic has turned more and more strange. An appalling number of people, staking their claim as Democratic party loyalists, declaring themselves as “Liberal” and/or “Left”, and even people at least somewhat aware of the neocon cult, hold on to the delusion that the neocons are strictly “a Republican thing”, and exercise a severe selective vision, or blindness, about recognizing how many people with a D attached to their name are fully onboard with the neocons. As I have said many times, this includes Hillary Clinton, especially Hillary Clinton.
Nearly every note I write here about US and world affairs tends to have some degree of repetition of previous items, something I also repeat, simply because, first, the stuff just keeps going, no matter how many times I, or anybody, calls “bullshit!”.
Just one of these running threads is the continued psychotic obsessions with Russia, Russians, and Vladimir Putin as head bogeyman villain leader. All that continues to be bizarrely perpetuated by people buying into all that as part of a means to remove Trump from the White House by any means possible. Never mind the stream of evidence calling into question President Trump’s competence and general mental state and competence, his business dealings raising questions about the emoluments clause of the Constitution, or anything else that could be raised. No, never mind all that… oh my god, Trump and his people talked to Russians!
The twists and convolutions of this lunacy are astounding. People as described above a couple paragraphs earlier latch on to this and, as a result, somehow manage to place themselves right into the neocon agenda of labeling any national government in the world not playing along with the neocons, including Russia and Putin among a long list, as “enemies of America”, with all the noisy nonsense that flies around associated with this.
One newer item was a story saying that Trump was not going to implement congressional decrees about “Russian sanctions”, with howling and mayhem associated with this. Some of the noise revolves around a theme something like “Trump, Russian agent/puppet/lackey, refuses to enforce sanctions against Russia for their interference with our election!”. Wait, I thought it was “Russian sanctions for their invasion of Ukraine”? Of course, at this point, does it even matter, as long as the narrative is about Russian bogeymen and the evil Trump?
I have already been over the subjects involved, repeatedly.
People continue to flog the idea of Russian interference with our election, often adding that this is under Putin’s command and direction. One part of that is the continued noise about “Russian hacking of emails” involving Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party management, completely ignoring everything contained in those emails, along with ignoring anyone saying that the revealed emails did not come from Russia or Russian agents. For some people, evidently, it was perfectly fine for Mrs. Clinton and cohorts to sabotage democracy to eliminate Bernie Sanders and ensure Hillary Clinton would be the party nominee, regardless of what the people wanted, along with everything else she was doing.
Part of the Russian Interference narrative includes stuff about “Russian agents posting politically divisive social media messages to affect our election”, which is almost hilariously stupid when you look around at the bombardment of “politically divisive messages to affect our elections”, a constant onslaught, from right here inside the United States. Along with that, the extra absurdity is that in all that, whether or not any particular message is factually true or makes sense seems irrelevant to people squalling about this.
There is extra irony in the fixation on “Russian oligarchs” in all this while we have some pretty severe problems with American oligarchs who very definitely are subverting democracy in America.
The actual reasons for the batch of “Russian sanctions” (I have lost track of them, at this point) are somewhere between deeply suspect and completely ridiculous. The initial frenzy revolves around different wording, depending on what you look at, from “Russian involvement in Ukraine” to “Russian invasion of Ukraine”.
An article on the NPR website tells a story of a US military spy plane over the Black Sea encountering Russian military aircraft. This is not the first of this kind of story, telling a tale about Russian military aircraft pilots behaving badly encountering US military spy planes over waters bordering Russia, with comments about Russians flying too close, being dangerous, unprofessional, and so on. These stories never suggest that it could be even remotely reasonable that military aircraft of a country (Russia) would go to meet approaching military aircraft from another country, spy planes, very far from home (United States) approaching their territory. If Russian military planes were flying around the shores of the Atlantic, Pacific, or Gulf of Mexico, approaching the United States, I would certainly expect the US military to send some planes to encounter them.
But tucked quietly into that story, among the rest of it, was a comment saying:
The incident is the latest in a string of what the Navy says are unsafe incidents in the air over the Black Sea following Russia’s 2014 forced annexation of Crimea.
That slips in there, neatly reinforcing the steadily repeated narratives about what happened in Ukraine and Crimea in 2014 that fully qualify as egregiously blatant propaganda from the neocon contingent almost completely conflicting with the reality of events over there, as reported by an assortment of people doing actual honest independent journalism operating in objective facts.
I have been over this same matter dozens of times. An elected President in Ukraine was overthrown in a coup d’etat in early 2014, the government taken over by bunch clearly, explicitly, supported by the neocons here. People in Crimea and the general southern and eastern regions wanted nothing to do with the new gang, which included blatant neo-Nazis, who, among other things, had always been, and still are, virulently and violently anti-Russian (although Ukraine was part of Russia for centuries). Crimea had been part of Russia until around 60 years before the coup, when it was given to Ukraine as a Soviet-era political gift, and were still apparently essentially a Russian culture. A vote in Crimea saw a vote over 90% in favor of rejecting the new gang taking control in Kiev and asking the Russian government to make Crimea part of Russia again, a fact reported by US and UK news media operations who still then propagated the notion of “Russian invasion and seizure of Crimea”. The reported “invasion” forces of Russia in Crimea were military forces who had mostly been there all along, with the Russian Crimean naval base on the Black Sea coast of Crimea there for a couple centuries. An objective review of everything makes it plain that the Russian military forces securing parts of Crimea were not some invading force seizing the place and coercing and controlling people into a “sham vote”, as US government officials mocked it, to take control of Crimea, people there were seeking Russian military protection from the new gang seizing the Ukrainian government, who were making it clear that either the people there were going to fall in line and submit to the new ordering Ukraine, or be stomped violently into submission.
Along with all the stories covering this (which I will not keep repeating every time this comes up), a lengthy documentary from Oliver Stone covers the saga in detail, including much of the same information available in many other places. Any and all of that, however, runs into the same brick wall of people dismissing any such objective and honest reporting of that situation as “Russian propaganda”.
Part of that whole messy drama is that if you start looking at all the parties involved in Ukraine and Crimea, what emerges is that anywhere you look in government there, it’s a hellish mess of failed-state dysfunction and corruption, but, somehow, people from one faction or another get painted as Good Guys versus Bad Guys, depending on who somebody sees as “their side”, with the US neocons and all the people and entities falling in line with them buying into nonsense about supposed Good Guys (with rosy rhetoric about “people’s revolution for democracy and independence) that, unsurprisingly, involves the supposed Good Guys being firmly aligned with the neocon’s quest for control of Ukraine, along with everywhere else in the world.
Selective blindness is rampant and pervasive.
Reading some online commentary, somebody voiced an idea that was said to be from someone from a particular organization. The idea and the organization are beside the point. What is the point is that a response to this (and it was a reasonable idea) from someone was to question whether the organization in question was “something we should agree with”. Not explicitly spelled out, but obvious, was the supposition that the organization named was one of the forces of “the other side” among people assumed to be members of the opposing side. Never mind what the actual idea was, and its merits or flaws. What side are they? Are they “our side” which means we must agree with whatever they say, or the enemy other side, and we must oppose anything they say?
This is fucking idiot lunacy, and it’s everywhere.