HOW AUTHORITATIVE IS WESTERN MAINSTREAM NEWS ON RUSSIA AND UKRAINE?
George Orwell knew a thing or two about war, and the way governments at war, or who become aware of the advantages of the mere threat of war, slip easily from mere deception into outright lies and tend to remain liars right to the bitter end.
The public at large are of course the primary victims in this scenario. Not only where any actual fighting may be going on but also on the home front as they are generally so easy to dupe, especially if their media is also bound up in the same war mode as their politicians.
It’s a cliche that truth is the first casualty in any war and this is very true, however, as we have seen with so many of the wars waged by the western powers there is no resurgence of the truth concerning those wars at any time afterwards.
We live in a time when Orwell’s concept of ‘Doublethink’ has never been more obvious.
‘Doublethink is a process of indoctrination whereby the subject is expected to simultaneously accept two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in contravention to one's own memories or sense of reality.’ (Wikipedia)
Yemen is being pummelled daily by Saudi planes supplied primarily by the USA and Britain with logistics and analysis also supplied by them and this causes the batting of not a single eye. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria are attacked in various ways using either troops from western nations or their proxies and all this is supposed to be all well and good with no apologies for anything but some “flawed information”. Yet Russia doing something not totally dissimilar in Ukraine is wholly wrong, apparently deserving of the entire world’s condemnation.
A few last words from Wikipedia on the subject of ‘Doublethink’:
Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy.
Orwell saw how states with totalitarian tendencies used their power to deceive using the mass media as their primary tool. Indeed, in the world of 1948 where television was quite new Orwell immediately saw its potential and brought it to the centre of his novel ‘1984’.
Something akin to mass hypnosis is possible during times of war and this too Orwell described in ‘1984’. The power of a repeated message alongside a powerful image could create a jingoistic hysteria and mass obedience.
This was seen in experiments carried out at Harvard University in the Sixties when it was shown that almost everyone could be made to inflict pain on unseen other when requested to do so by a figure with authority. (In the many times repeated experiment a volunteer would be told someone unseen was giving the wrong answers to questions and was to get increasingly powerful electric shocks as he continued to do so. The unseen person would pretend to be hurt, shouting out and pleading for the shocks to be halted. The volunteer might query what he was doing, upset that he was hurting someone, but the researcher standing next to him would urge him on. Most did keep administering what they believed were high voltage shocks up to and including the most powerful as instructed.
What are western audiences to believe when every mass communication news outlet has told them for years what a devilish person Vladimir Putin is and that now those Russians are doing something extremely bad, worse even than what they have told about for many years previously. These are authoritative outlets in the minds of most westerners. Those standing shoulder to shoulder with their political leaders, the BBCs and CNNs of this world are still seen as the most authoritative sources for news simply by the status they have achieved by one way or another in the West. Does this necessarily mean they are trustworthy in times of war? It does not.
Since 9/11 at least western mass media has had a policy of more or less zero judgemental material on western governments in terms of foreign policy. Oh they may murmur now and then about black sites, about torture, about prisoner abuse (Abu Ghraib) but nothing above a slightly raised murmur, nothing that extends to questioning anything fundamental.
Yet if the West is at war with another nation or nations we hear much, much more than a murmur, a sustained campaign occurs where only one-sided and virulent narratives are communicated, discussed endlessly and the leader or leaders of entire nations are vilified and subjected to character assassination.
Doublethink becomes ubiquitous. Our guys are the good guys and can do more or less what they think fit… but those guys over there doing something similar but much, much less in scope or magnitude are evil incarnate. You see how this works?
And all the while the sheeple keep their ears and eyes wide open for the next piece of “authoritative” news…