Whadda Ya Know?

63
2008

“In times of war or crisis, power is easily stolen from the many by the few on a promise of security. The more elusive or imaginary the foe, the better for manufacturing consent.”
― Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

Until recently few New Zealanders were aware of Ukraine or could even name its capital city, and fewer still could find it on a map. But now most New Zealanders appear to know who is responsible for the war that has erupted in Ukraine, and it is Vladimir Putin and he is evil, because the media says so.  

Few New Zealanders know anything of Ukraine’s recent history or that the US poured billions into Ukraine to manipulate the overthrow of its democratically elected government, and that recorded proof of its interference has been available online since 2014,  but they know Putin is evil, because that is what the media has told them.  

Few Kiwis have any knowledge of Russia’s concerns that Ukraine’s membership of NATO, would have had the potential to put US missiles on Russia’s border and that that is why Russia opposed it.  But they know that Putin is evil, because that is what the media has told them. 

Few New Zealanders know about the Minsk agreements that included constitutional reform in Ukraine and limited autonomy for its Russian-speaking breakaway regions. But they know that Putin is evil because that is what the media has told them. 

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And few New Zealanders know that the Crimea, unilaterally ceded to Ukraine by Krushchev in 1954,  is home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet and that, as such, Crimea was never going to remain part of Ukraine’s territory once it aligned itself with the US and NATO,  But they know Putin “illegally seized” Crimea, because that is what the media has told them   

And few New Zealanders know that when the USSR was dissolved and its component states became independent, Russia was solemnly promised that NATO would not move one inch closer to Russia. But they know Putin is evil, because that is what the media has told them.

Few New Zealanders even consider that with the dissolution of the USSR and with it the Warsaw Pact, NATO lost its reason to exist, because the alleged Communist threat had evaporated, or that since then NATO has actually nearly doubled in size. But they know that Putin is a violent aggressor, because that’s what the media has told them

Few New Zealanders know anything of Ukraine’s WW2 collaboration with the Nazis in war crimes, or that huge numbers of its population are proud of those Nazi connections and that units of its army still bear the names of those units and still march under their banners. But they know that Putin is evil because that is what the media has told them.

Few of those New Zealanders who today condemn Russia’s attack on Crimea have, over the past years, uttered one word of protest at the attacks by the US, and its assorted allies, on Iraq, Gaza, Libya, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Syria, Somalia, Laos, Chile, Cambodia, or Vietnam, to name a few, and not to mention its responsibility for the world-wide refugee crisis.   But they know that Russia and China are brutal imperialist aggressors, because that is what the media has told them. 

And few New Zealanders know that their consent to any action which the US deems appropriate, to stop either Russia or China realizing their massive potential, and so threaten US supremacy, is being constantly manufactured, And they don’t know because the media doesn’t want them to know.

“You really have no idea how the human bees will swarm to the beating of any old tin kettle: in that fact lies the complete manual of governing them. When they can be got to believe that the kettle can be made of precious metals, in that fact lies the whole power of men (over men)…..”

Charles Dickens – quote borrowed from another blog on this site

 

 

63 COMMENTS

  1. Its depressing, all the normies around me are like kids toys the media can wind up and point in any direction they fancy.

  2. Justified or not it’s hard to support the invasion of Ukraine and I think this is a massive mistake by Putin. If nothing else the Russian economy is heading back to the 90’s and Russia’s burgeoning integration into Europe via trade and commerce is over.
    The media sympathy porn for Ukrainians is understandable – along with details of the Russian units and the brutal acts they commit. The saddest thing of all is that I’ve heard these acts of brutality before. I have family who served in Afghanistan for the UK military and the stories they tell are the same. The experience of killing civilians in war is universal and it has a terrible impact on the soldiers involved.
    We were given some details of Western atrocities in Afghanistan – the Australian government in particular went there. When they did and investigated and documented the atrocities of SAS units most of it had to be redacted before public release. It was considered too horrific for public consumption.
    I don’t suppose we’re going to see an equivalent redaction of Russian atrocities is the point of the article.
    To put an end to ongoing war crimes cases in the UK the government changed the law so that no act committed by UK military can be brought before a UK court. Torture, rape and murder were all made legal for UK agents and military personal abroad. No-one wins a war – everyone loses their humanity.

    • Peter Bradley: your comment here illustrates exactly the point Malcolm Evans was making in his post. The evidence suggests that you get your news about Russia from Western sources, which are highly selective in what they report – when they aren’t just producing propaganda, that is.

      Putin is neither evil nor a dictator: he’s a very smart, competent leader with extraordinary political skills, who is popular enough to be repeatedly re-elected. Russia has the continuity of able leadership about which we in the west can only dream.

      Given the numpties who’ve been elected both here and in the US and elsewhere over many years, we should probably be glad that they aren’t still around.

      I recommend that you go do some reading. My generation could be forgiven for accepting propaganda as truth: there was no internet, no other way of finding out the real story, as opposed to – for want of a better phrase – western narratives.

      Younger people now have no excuse for ignorance, given the rise of the internet. Go look at dissenting views: there are many websites and blogsites which carry them now. Read. Ask the rest of us for pointers as to where to look.

      Here’s something to get you started. If you would know the provenance of all that cold war nonsense, read David Talbot’s book “The Devil’s Chessboard”. It’s about Allen Dulles, the establishment of the CIA and the rise of the US ‘s secret government. The book is in local libraries: I read an e-book version from our local library, last year.

  3. From what I can determine Western sanctions have been highly selective and calibrated to minimize impact to the West – with a mind to oil and gas supply shocks. Oil and gas from Russia are not being sanctioned – the one thing that would stop Russia in its muddy tank tracks can’t be touched because of the damage it would inflict on our own economies performance and profits.
    All the sympathy and support for Ukraine reminds of the support people in the UK gave their health workers during the pandemic crisis. They stood on their door steps and clapped – after which they were offered a 1% pay rise. This is kind of what Ukraine is getting.

  4. Excellent stuff @ M.E.
    I’m overjoyed that I can completely agree with you.
    While we’re on the subject of institutionalised bull shit, here’s a good one.
    RNZ
    ‘New Zealand signs free trade deal with UK to eliminate all tariffs for NZ exports’
    “New Zealand has overnight signed a historic free-trade agreement with the United Kingdom, sealing a deal agreed in principle last year.”
    Historic my hairy arse! We were happily exporting to the UK, that’s what literally built our AO/NZ. The one stolen off us by the neoliberal-capitalists of the last 40 years. The Good Ol’ Boys got greedy so the UK told us to fuck off. Hello EEC. And now? Golly Gee ! We can export to the UK! Gosh darn it. That’s just swell. Why, we’ll be exporting wool etc to the EU, the USA and the UK next! Wow! Who’d a thunk it.
    ( Aye boys? You fucking scum bags. )
    How can this go unchallenged and uninvestigated but for my little self squeaking away like a rusty gate hinge?
    Behold at least two liars. More to follow…
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/462488/new-zealand-signs-free-trade-deal-with-uk-to-eliminate-all-tariffs-for-nz-exports

  5. Well said Malcom.

    Some have mounted horses so high they will shortly run out of oxygen. I don’t support Putin or military attacks or the arms industry, but all situations have to be viewed in their historical and factual context.

  6. Malcolm – agree with much of your characterisation but you seem to be making the same mistake as the media in the opposite direction suggesting Putin’s actions are entirely justifiable.

    “Crimea, unilaterally ceded to Ukraine by Krushchev in 1954 etc” – So you agree with Putin that ‘historical mistakes committed by weak leaders in troubled times’ can justify a military occupation. Isn’t this pure power politics? (like the US does).

    “Few New Zealanders know anything of Ukraine’s WW2 collaboration – etc” – I’m sure the same few New Zealanders wouldn’t know anything of the Stalinist policies that led to a man-made famine that swept through Ukraine in the 1930s killing millions. Could the memory of that have influenced the decision to collaborate against Stalin’s Russia?

    “NATO has actually nearly doubled in size” – Yes mostly due to former Soviet republics and former Warsaw pact nations joining up. Why do you think nations formerly under Russian influence would join an organisation that historically countered Russian influence and, like the Baltics and Poland, are arguably some of its most militant members?

    “to stop either Russia or China realizing their massive potential” – Really? Have you looked at their economy, geography, supply chains or demographics? Russia is a dying empire and China seems to have peaked. The same could be said for the US but they are far better placed to navigate the collapse of globalisation than China is. For “realizing their massive potential” I’d look to India although a war with Pakistan could easily derail that.

    “and so threaten US supremacy” – The US is doing quite a good job of undermining itself, but as a thought experiment would you rather have a supremacy of US Woke-Corporatists, Chinese CCP or Russian Oligarchs?
    Assume you cannot say ‘none of the above’.

    Again this is not to refute your key points on media, manufactured consent and the foreign policy crimes, we can play whataboutism and discuss 2nd, 3rd and 30th order consequences all day. However Putin and Russia are not good faith or noble actors in any of this.

    • Tui you are not considering the fact that Russia viewed the current situation (before this “invasion”) as an EXISTENTIAL threat and has been seriously warning the USA to backoff. Make no mistake, this is all the doing of the USA and its lackies ie. the headless chickens of sycophantic NATO. As the saying goes – Don’t poke the bear!
      Thank you ME for your stunning summary.
      I am appalled at the utter ignorance of the Ukraine problem by 99% of NZers and have had to keep my mouth firmly shut these past few days. The media? Words escape me.

      • Many Countries in this World have learnt the following when it comes to American deeds,,,,,,,
        American promises: worthless
        American intentions: deadly
        American speeches: lies
        American actions: intimidation, extortion and blackmail.

        This from Strategic Foundation….” Russia and China have concluded that sharing a global society with an America set on enforcing a hegemonic global order crafted to resmble “Arizona” is no longer possible. Putin means what he says ; Russias back is to the wall, and there is nowhere to which Russia can now retreat – for them it is existential.”
        The Yanks can’t/won’t see this point of view; they just want to dissolve Russia and turn the whole world into/onto the American Dream (really a nightmare).
        The USA is not a nice benign neighbour and was not settled (and “made great “) by nice people as the fairy tale goes. Basically they are a story of the genocide of the native race, followed by greed, opportunism, corruption and isolationism in a land of plenty.
        After WW2 Eisenhower decried the power of the Industrial/Military complex which had developed in America (and dominates to this day) and interferes everywhere on the planet because they have granted themselves the special privilege of being the ‘Exceptional Country’.
        Exceptional alright, exceptionally arrogant and deceptive. Also I must mention how stupid they are in so many ways, especially in spreading their corrupt version of democracy to lesser mortals. They are also incredibly ignorant because they are taught how great America is and that covers their total knowledge of History and Geography. Shall I get into their religious misconceptions ? Better not.

        • The same with my comment to Malcolm, I know a good amount of the crimes and misdeeds of the US and westerns nations. My point is Russian history is hardly a morality play either.

          I agree Russian elites see their situation as existential, but I’d say it’s only in part due the US. Just as the US elites are hollowing out their own nation, Russian oligarchs have also done a good job of running their country into the ground too.

          While we are talking about perception of existential threat, the same could be said of Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland etc. As I mentioned before why do you think countries that have had direct experience of Russian influence in living memory, were so keen to join the EU and NATO. Why given the history of US foreign policy, as you put it, would they still choose to be aligned with the US?

          For that matter why are are Sweden and Finland (who also collaborated with Nazi Germany to fight Stalinist USSR) considering NATO membership when they managed to stay neutral throughout the Cold War?

          • This situation is not about Russian influence or former influence…this is about US influence. Take the USA out of your argument and all you will be left with is oligarchs doing what rich bastards – everywhere – tend to do!

      • “I am appalled at the utter ignorance of the Ukraine problem by 99% of NZers and have had to keep my mouth firmly shut these past few days”.

        Looks like someone thinks they are a little ‘special’ . . maybe 99% of NZ’ers just don’t agree with you and are simply not interested in any condescending attempt to ‘educate’ them?

    • Some great balance here Tui – I am sure however those on this blog who are blinded by an all-encompassing hatred for the West / USA will disagree and continue to sleep hugging their Putin dolls close to their chests.

        • Sorry – Disagree. It is true that Russia has always benn cruelly ruled with a bloody rod of iron, through the Tsars, Stalin and now Putin.
          What makes me despair is the average Kiwi’s utter ignorance of the abysmal moral failures of our own side, and we are led by the USA… You can now read up on much of the truth about Vietnam, for example.
          Look at the bloody stupid responses to Nicky Hager’s good work.

          • In Vino – Didn’t my earlier comments not make it clear enough that I am aware of the abysmal moral failures of our own side too?

    • Geoff Lye: The Guardian neatly exemplifies the sort of media bias to which Malcolm Evans refers. The UK media is notoriously Russophobic.

      There’s a deep history of anti-Russia sentiment in the UK. It goes back a long way, before even the Crimean war. It doesn’t seem to be logical at all, and I don’t know its origins. I used to think that it was just the UK repeating what its political masters tell it to say. But it appears to precede US independence, so it cannot be that. It may of course relate to competing imperial ambitions centuries ago.

    • Tui: “Crimea, unilaterally ceded to Ukraine by Krushchev in 1954…”

      The people got no say in this (just as NZers got no say in the Rogernomics revolution). Following independence in 1991, Crimea had made two attempts to decamp from the Ukraine. The third – and successful – attempt was in 2014, following the US-sponsored putsch in Kiev. Russia was happy to accept it back, given the Black Sea Fleet is at Sevastopol. But it was the people themselves who made good their escape. It wasn’t Russia doing the heavy lifting. We watched the news footage at the time: the BBC was surprisingly even-handed in its coverage. Actually, Crimea has nothing whatever to do with the current conflict.

      “…Stalinist policies that led to a man-made famine that swept through Ukraine in the 1930s killing millions.”

      A couple of points about this. Firstly, the death toll from this and the Stalinist purges has apparently been overstated. One of the things which scared the shit out of the other Allies – most especially the Americans – was the sheer size of the Red Army: had the numbers killed or dead of starvation in the USSR been as high as has been claimed by some western commentators, there’d have been nobody left to fight the Nazis. At least one British historian (no link, sorry) claimed a death toll which exceeded the actual population at the time.

      Secondly, we had family living in the Ukraine at the time of the famine. They were unaffected by it, so its effects weren’t universal. The same applies to the Irish famine: my Irish ancestors were unaffected by it. Some years later, a large contingent of them came to NZ as part of Julius Vogel’s assisted migration scheme.

      It’s the nature of famines that they’re always political. But it’s difficult to avoid noticing that Stalin and Mao Zedong attract much more opprobrium for the famines on their watches, than does the British Crown, which was ruling Ireland at the time of the famine. It could have done something to alleviate that disaster, but did not.

      “…mostly due to former Soviet republics and former Warsaw pact nations joining up.”

      In the first instance, the point stands: the fall of the USSR rendered NATO ‘s existence irrelevant.

      (Regarding NATO: the USSR applied to join, very shortly after it was founded. The US rejected that application. So, in about 1955, the Warsaw Pact was established.)

      Secondly, remember that many of those states taken under the purview of the USSR had been either part of the Axis, or enthusiastic collaborators with the Nazis both in their hostilities against the USSR and their destruction of the Jews. I think it was Chris Trotter who referred to this fact recently. There’s no love lost on either side.

      “….the Baltics and Poland….”

      You may be too young to remember this: I surely am not. Immediately after WW2, NZ accepted a large number of refugees from Poland and from the Baltic States, in particular Latvia (and in the mid-50s we also took Hungarian refugees).

      Poland and Latvia collaborated with the Nazis to rid their countries of Jews. Latvia was particularly efficient: I think only about 10% of Latvian Jews survived or avoided deportation to the death camps. Such efficiency entailed the active support of civilians; at war’s end, those people claimed refugee status and fled to countries such as NZ, so as to avoid retribution for their crimes. It wasn’t until the early noughties that the Simon Wiesenthal people came looking for them here. By which time it was too late, of course. That older generation was dead, and the children can’t be blamed.

      As to the Hungarians: Hungary was an Axis power. NZ ought not to have given refuge to any of them.

      “Russia is a dying empire and China seems to have peaked.”

      This would explain why the US is busting a boiler to get its hands on both Russian and Chinese assets. They are huge countries, rich in resources, which the Western oligarchs badly want. Hence the current conflict in the Ukraine.

      At the fall of the USSR, the West thought it had the whole show tied up. Those of us old enough can remember the dire state of the Russian economy in the 1990s, on the watch of that old lush Yeltsin. Hence Western fury at Putin, who came to power in the late 90s, then stood on the West’s hands, preventing them from stealing any more Russian assets. He also took Russian oligarchs to court, forcing them to pay their taxes. Many of them fled the country and took up residence in London, from where they sniped at that evil Putin, who expected them to pay their fair share.

      “….would you rather have a supremacy of US Woke-Corporatists, Chinese CCP or Russian Oligarchs?”

      In virtue of what should there be a supremacy of any particular polity? And in virtue of what should you assume that oligarchs run the show in Russia? Though to be sure, were that so, it would make Russia no different from the capitalist West. An oligarch is an oligarch, whatever their nationality.

      Russia has proposed a multi-polar world. This sounds greatly preferable to the current arrangements. Since WW2, this country has paid the membership fees (so to speak) of the club, but is yet to be admitted. The Americans will put a man on Jupiter before they’ll give us a free trade agreement which is worth anything at all.

      “However Putin and Russia are not good faith or noble actors in any of this.”

      This comment bespeaks the Disney-style propaganda version of Russia and Putin, to which Malcolm Evans refers above. Evans’s post is aimed at you and others who share this view.

      With regard to the Ukraine, do you have any idea what’s been going on there since early 2014? Your comment above suggests not. Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine is not only legal, it is morally justified. And it’s not before time, many of us think. Zelensky and his government are awful people: don’t waste any sympathy on them. Save it for the citizens of the Donbass. Including the children.

  7. Thanks Malcolm this is excellent and the very sort of analysis we should he hearing and seeing on TV.

    Tui nowhere does Malcolm suggest Putin is a good guy. But it is about time we looked at the history and understand – despite of course not supporting it – why Putin has done this.

    • Clarification from Malcolm on this point would be good, as that’s not how I read it.

      Agree with your point on how we look at history, which is why I don’t refute Malcolm’s claims and agree with his characterisation of the media and manufacturing consent. I also don’t subscribe to the “Putin-is-nuts” narrative.

      However the examples Malcolm chooses are very one sided and combined with use of language, suggested something beyond ‘understandable’ and towards ‘excusable’ because the US and Ukraine are bad actors. Happy to be proved wrong!

      It was certainly a selective reading of history, combined with an emotive framing, which I’d argue is a big part of the flaw in the media he criticises.

      • I agree, lets just get back to Russia bad – to the power of infinity – and forever remain ignorant to the actions of anything else. Righto, life back to normal.

          • Your argument is too simple to straw man. Russia is bad and nothing else matters – nothing else matters – unless this Russia-bad notion is at the forefront of anything that involves Russia.

            • Since you cannot repeat my argument back to me in a way I’d recognise, let’s take it slow and actually restate it simply.

              You say that I say
              ‘Russia is bad and nothing else matters’

              – Russia is bad actor in Ukraine – Yes I am saying that
              – Nothing else matters – No i’m not saying that, US and Nato are also bad actors in Ukraine.

              I also say
              – The western media has a selective reading of history and is highly partisan. Malcolm’s article also has a selective reading of history and came across as potentially partisan in the opposite direction.
              – You are strawman-ing my argument
              – Don’t be a dick.

              Hope that helps, I’m moving on from this thread.

              • Russia sits atop the bad actor list. This is the crux of your argument. A token nod to other bad actors does not hide this fact.

  8. THB a lot of mental gymnastics in this post. Cold hard fact is that Ukrainians identify as much with Europe as Russia and like almost all don’t want to go back to authoritarian, Russian-backed rule. If they did then, like Afghanistan Putin’s forces would already be in Kiev without a gun being fired.

    When I travelled through East Europe in the early 2000’s I was taken aback by the anti Russian sentiment in places such as Hungry and Poland. They thought more of the Nazis. Seriously. I’d suggest the same of the Ukrainians who will look West and see a land of opportunity.

    Many of the Russian apologists here I dare suggest would have a different view if they were indeed living in Russia where this blog would already be shut down and Bomber in a Gulag in Siberia.

    • Well Frank it can be no surprise to you then that the $6 billion the yanks spent on regime change in the Ukraine installed a neo nazi bunch. There are two sides to the outcome of this new regime and the population is very divided. The Ukraine economy is struggling to say the least and the governance is as corrupt as ever. Many Ukranians are now well aware that the American dream is false and that Russia is no longer Communist.

      • Cmon – where is the evidence of:

        A) Neo Nazis
        B) A divided population outside of the separatist regions

        There is more evidence the election was stolen from Trump. Hint: there isn’t any evidence.

      • Ukraine Azov battalion commander –: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-01/foreign-fighters-return-to-australia-with-military-training/9696784
        Mr Tilling, who was until recently a member of the Nazi group Right Wing Resistance, had spent the Australian spring in the bitter cold of Eastern Ukraine firing Kalashnikovs, rocket launchers and grenades at Russian-backed separatists.

        The 23-year-old former soldier from Brisbane is one of two Australian ex-Defence Force personnel identified by the ABC who have joined thousands of ultranationalists flocking from across the world to take up arms in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass.”

        Ukraine Asks Foreign Fighters to Join https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1xMJZFzszc

    • Frank the Tank: “…I was taken aback by the anti Russian sentiment in places such as Hungry and Poland.”

      We noticed the same thing in central Europe, including in Prague. But remember that Hungary was an Axis power, and Poland collaborated with the Nazis. Right up until uncle Adolf walked across the border in 1939, of course. Other countries in that region (including the Ukraine) were either Axis partners, or enthusiastic collaborators with the Nazis. Peoples there hated the Jews, and used the opportunity to get them deported. And there’s a deep history of hostility between Poland and Russia.

      We have family in Austria and Germany. The populace in those countries doesn’t much like the British or the Americans, either. When we first went there almost 30 years ago, we noticed some people in buses and the like moving away from us if they heard us speaking in English. The dislike runs very deep. And we recall the cardinal in Vienna, in the course of a sermon, making disparaging comments about the British and Americans. He said it in Deutsch, but one of us could understand him.

      All of those countries were on the losing side in WW2. Of course they’re not going to love the winners. Moreover, countries such as Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria Czechoslovakia and Croatia came under the aegis of the USSR, precisely because they’d been Axis powers and had formed part of the invading German army. Naturally, there’ll be no love lost. On either side.

      And: lest we forget… Finland was also an Axis power, as was Thailand. I’m guessing that the citizens wouldn’t now like to be reminded of that.

  9. Totally agree Tui. Nothing justifies invasion of a sovereign nation and the killing of civilians ever. People can do whatever they like in their own country and as long as they stay in their own lane. We should all call it good.

    As ME himself quotes “power is easily stolen from the many by the few on a promise of security” I think that sums up Putin’s invasion nicely.

    • Pipi, your comment here neatly illustrates the points Malcolm Evans was making in his post.

      “Nothing justifies invasion of a sovereign nation and the killing of civilians ever. People can do whatever they like in their own country and as long as they stay in their own lane.”

      Tell that to the citizens of the Donbass, who’ve endured 8 years of shelling by the Ukrainian military. The result has been at least 14000 deaths and much destruction. Their crime? Declaring independence following the US-sponsored putsch in Kiev.

      And to the families of those protesting against that putsch. They were locked into the trades union building in Odessa. That building was set alight and they were burned alive. Any who tried to escape were beaten and shot.

      Is that enough justification for you? It surely is for many of us.

  10. Yeah, I’m not sure I find this article particulary helpful. Obviously Malcom’s trying to drum home that we’re getting our news reports through western eyes and with a western US centric slant. I would argue that a lot of people are already aware of this but it doesn’t alter the fact that what has happened is wrong and disgusting and the outrage is genuine. Ukraine is a free country with a democratically elected government, and should be free to chose it’s own course in the world, not bend to Russia’s will. Russia may well feel threatened by Ukraine wanting to join NATO, but Russia has just demonstated the exact reason why Ukraine would have wanted to join NATO in the first place – the threat of violence and aggression from their larger neighbour.

    Yes the US did exactly the same thing with Iraq as Russia is doing now. They manufactured a false narrative in order to justify an invasion of a sovereign nation. And most poeple saw it for what it was and condemned them for it at the time. I can remember the unprecedented public protests at the time. It has stained America’s reputation forever. But two wrongs don’t make a right, and I’m damned sure I’m not going to hold back from condemning Putin for this war because America also did a bad thing in the past.

    Also of interest in that photo montage at the top – how many of those nations pictured were not oppressing most or all of their citizens at the time? Ukraine stands apart from the rest in this regard. Maybe this has something to do with the degree that this outcry around the world is louder and more vociferous. If the other regimes had fallen due to the military action, the outcome for the majority of the citizens may well have been a better quality of life? Could you say the same about Ukraine?

    • If you think that the Ukraine has a ‘democratically elected government’ you are naive and gullible. We were told the same rubbish about Vietnam when i was younger…

  11. Spot on Martin, I couldn’t agree more. Most New Zealanders will believe whatever is told to them. They are brain dead and don’t think things through or research the subject.

  12. right wing nationalists brought to power by foreign interests..mmmmm yup sounds ‘democratic’ to me.

  13. partly because our media is shite..and partly because education has gone down the shitter and higher education is a bums on seats sewer.

  14. Here’s a propaganda article by Ria-Novosti, that accidently got released on the victory of Russia over Ukraine prematurely. It was intended to come out the day it was published but it seems Russia was a bit premature in its hubris! Although I was apposed to the imperial wars of the USA, This article is a stark reminder of the savage nationalist imperialist intensions of Putin.

  15. Jackie, some scepticism arose on reading your contribution, especially after confirming the link you supplied belongs to the site of the Ukrainian Military (propaganda?). The ‘accredited’ writer has a reasonably OK background on that site but otherwise, he doesn’t seem to exist outside of being a quoted source on the numerous sites that have picked up the link you provided.

    There is probably on need to quote the old maxim about truth being the first casualty of war but are you able to provide any substantial information that might prove that the ‘ Ria-Novosti’ article is not just a Ukrainian propaganda exercise?

  16. I do not support the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.
    But since the US supported coup in 2014 over 14,000 people have been killed in the Donbass and over 20,000 wounded from daily shelling, incursions, occupation and snipers by the Ukrainian Government.
    As a member of the Fives Eyes Group the NZ Government may not have been an active participant but there is no doubt we had full knowledge of the events that have ensued and why, hence our silence.
    In the context of highlighting the popular bias within the media this is a well written post.
    Thank you Malcolm.

    • Pukahu Road: “I do not support the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.”

      Insofar as it’s any business of mine, I do, and for the reason you adduce in your comment: the 8 years long offensive against the Donbass. Russia has belatedly recognised the breakaway states: it has been asked for assistance, so it is permitted under international law to provide it (this is what it did in Syria). That law also permits it to defend itself against attacks on its territory. Ukraine has been doing this in Crimea.

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