MEDIAWATCH: Sunday Star Times Story exposes our media’s bias

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When Neo-Liberalism finally comes crashing down, and what John Pilger describes as our “viche journalism” is exposed for facilitating the Orwellian control it has over us, an unknown employee in Radio New Zealand might be remembered as the one who first blew the whistle.

In this week’s Sunday Star Times, in a story meant to further foment Russophobia, the paper reports that someone within Radio NZ has been altering Reuters’ accounts of the war in Ukraine, to “slant coverage in favour of Moscow,” and that consequently has been stood down.

The SST reports that last Thursday; “RNZ published a story that contained a false account of events in Ukraine,” which “a security analyst”says “may be related to the spread of overseas dis-information in New Zealand.”

The Sunday Star Times reports that this tampering incident is one of fifteen which RNZ is investigating and that it respects Reuters’ policy that its stories are not to be altered without consent. Verica Rupar, a professor of journalism at AUT, says the incidents are “Very, very concerning,” and the Broadcasting Minister, Willie Jackson, described it as “A major issue!”

But, far from fostering fear that our news reporting has been infiltrated, the great irony of the Sunday Star Times story is that it actually exposes the blind faith our media has in the reporting which foreign news agencies supply.

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I mean, heaven forbid that someone might, for instance, once upon a time, alter a story which claimed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction or that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was the cause of the Vietnam war, which came to us courtesy of the news agencies our media has such faith in.  Good Lord – that sort of tampering with news reporting could lead to peace!

But, facetiousness aside, read the paragraph in the Reuters’ story as it was supplied to RNZ and then read the altered version, and judge for yourself which is the more accurate and objective.

Original Reuters’ story as it was received from the news agency;

The conflict in Ukraine began in 2014 after a pro-Russian president was toppled in Ukraine’s Maidan revolution and Russia annexed Crimea, with Russian-backed separatist forces fighting Ukraine’s armed forces.”

And here, as it was altered to read before being posted on the RNZ website:

“The conflict in Ukraine began in 2014 after a pro-Russian elected government was toppled during Ukraine’s violent Maidan colour revolution. Russia annexed Crimea after a referendum, as the new pro-Western government suppressed ethnic Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine, sending in its armed forces to the Donbass.”

While every detail in the second account is corroborated by numerous independent and authoritative reports freely available on the web, the Reuters’ account of the Ukraine tragedy is designed to “slant coverage in favour of Washington,” to paraphrase the concern earlier expressed.

And it’s that which should be seen as “very, very concerning” and as “a major issue” for us.

But right now, and most importantly, have a thought for a courageous Radio New Zealand employee who, at this very moment, suspended and under investigation, is probably feeling very alone. And if you know him or her, tell them that speaking truth to power is what real journalism should be about, that we are in their debt and ready with whatever support they need.

34 COMMENTS

  1. The person who corrected the propagandised Reuters narrative of the military operation in Ukraine and the Russian territories. Should be given an award!! For Journalism!!

    • Actual journalists go to prison (Julian Assange). Warmongering propagandists get Pulitzer Prizes (Maggie Haberman, Tom Hamburger, etc. etc.)

      • I’d happily give you a machine gun if you’d gleefully follow Ukraine in giving Russia a proper hiding on the battlefield.

        As the late and great Sun Tzu once said.

        Tactics without strategy is the long road to victory and strategy without tactics is the noise before defeat.

        You want peace and prosperity for yourself independent of the national interest. You’re not going to get an Armed civilian uprising. It’ll take a lot more than sweet talk to topple this government. I’ve said it twice before I think Chippie has a mix of traits capable of of securing another majority Labour government. Not because of his links to superficial party politics and aesthetically pleasing policy but because the events dear sir demands it.

  2. For that courageous person if you are reading this, thank you for your integrity. You may lose your job and career but you haven’t lost yourself. You have been true to yourself.

  3. Yes, total support coming from me for correcting the Rueters article with easily verifiable facts. After the nonsense about Iraq and the WMDs that never existed it surprises me just how many people are buying what the media is saying about the Ukraine situation. I mean shouldn’t we be just a little bit sceptical?

    tbh I’ve given up expecting to read anything useful about Ukraine in the media but maybe the truth is starting to come out in much the same way it did about evil Saddam’s evil WMDs wanting to evil up the world

  4. It would have been better if the word ‘violent’ had been left out. Just the plain unadorned facts can speak the truth – without descriptive emotional language.

    • /indeed #Grey
      In the era of mistrust and arrogance though, everyone and his dog is opposed to anything they hear or see that they don’t agree with.
      Just being devil’s advocate for a second, I’m left wondering what would happen it someone republished one of Malcolm’s cartoons WITH the Evans signature, but with the words changed to reflect their beliefs.
      Hopefully they’d pick up on it being out of character (if only because they’re all experts and know exactly what they think he should think)
      (The RNZ pieces were atributed to Reuters in all cases that I can see)

      I kind of like many of Aunty BBC’s editorial guidelines (such as try to verify first hand, etc etc etc), although they have been known to get things wrong at times.

      Btw – you’d be interested in RNZ’s latest from Espiner and Co:
      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/theinterview

      and

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/491806/on-repeat-what-hours-of-interviews-reveal-about-the-obsessions-of-our-political-leaders

  5. Thank you Malcolm for this article. The ignorance and lack of understanding of the media, as they fall over themselves to mindlessly follow the USA’s distorted version of the events in Ukraine is sickening. There’s ample evidence out there to support the edited version. It’s not Russian influences we should be worried about, it’s the drivel that comes from western sources.

  6. Well, ah, RNZ is brought to you by the war machine so we can’t have the truth, let alone receive another view point. Doing the right thing in these times can have pretty devastating consequences.

  7. Id have some sympathy with this if theyd change the byline instead of happily altering someone elses work. Thats flat out cowardly.

    • It’s dishonest to change the wording on another agencies story while still calling it theirs- which tells us all we need to know about the little neoMarxist Russian sympathizers lurking at RNZ.

      Note todays revelation a kiwi Ukrainian pulled them up on a similar story 8 months ago, RNZ did nothing.
      Who knew they had no editorial oversight?
      It is getting very close to time to defund RNZ and TVNZ while we are at it. Actual government funded propaganda outlets.

  8. Great stuff @ M.E. It’s such a relief to read something from someone who isn’t grabbing at their testicles while howling from a tree top. Such as myself sometimes, I must confess.
    Personally writing, I find considerable solace in your reports but also this other fellow who, with his beads and bare chest, makes comforting sense in a maelstrom of bullshit, Russell Brand. https://youtu.be/i1_Rcbi43OM
    I see things this way. War equals money. Money equals power. Power is an aphrodisiac for the weak. The weak, or rather those who perceive themselves as being so are inevitably dangerous when given the opportunity and so, war, repeat. It’s a tired old script re enacted by generations of weak dangerous people. Is it really a penis thing? When you begin to build a house the last thing you should be worried about is the last brick in the chimney right?
    Forget micro chips and nano bots. Forget about AI and the gibberish that goes with that. Penis transplants! Proper big ones. None of your wee lily white jobies with a vein and a mushroom, like Trump’s.
    Overnight. No wars. Just strange wee men standing all by themselves while smiling down at their cocks.

  9. It is the added in adjectives that destroy the objectivity of the Reuters report. ‘Violent colour revolution’ for example.
    The Putinists on this blog would be proud of the inflammatory language substituted by this misguided individual. It seems to be from Prigozhin propaganda playbook to me. Good on the Ukrainian community for speaking out!

  10. Couldn’t agree more Malcolm, a couple of weeks ago Colin Peacock on his RNZ weekly programme “Media Watch” talked to a crowd called “News Guard”, a U S based organisation who was running the ruler over over our media. From what I gather was to ensure that what is reported/printed is the real deal…..Or just maybe ..to ensure that we were all singing from the same hymn sheet?
    This coming from US which has a known pedigree in disinformation/misinformation & has a vested interest in making sure that the right story is promulgated to the masses should be treated with the scepticism that it deserves.
    I suggested to Colin that he do some digging to see who is backing them.

  11. No mention of all the fiddling with Ne Zealand news that takes place on RNZ on a daily basis….If they were worried about unbiased accuracy, there would be no staff working at RNZ….

  12. RNZ published a story that contained a false account of events in Ukraine,

    So the employee may well sue SST for defamation as the account was not false and is verifiably true.

  13. Speaking truth to power has turned into speaking the truth according to the powerful, as such, mainstream media has turned into arguably, the greatest problem facing the world today.

  14. It’s time there was some seriously informed discussion of this appalling Russo-Ukrainian War that takes into account the reality of the tension between these two countries that is centuries old, was manifested brutally during Stalin’s Holodomor and has ramped up in recent decades since the fall of the Soviet Union. This is a situation of imperialistic bullying of the most violent kind and Ukraine has been betrayed badly when they were persuaded, against their parliament’s better judgement, to give up their nuclear weapons in 1993. It was an agreement between Ukraine, the US and Russia and Russia even signed the document that guaranteed they would not attack Ukraine. Where has been the discussion of this? The anti-Western commentators such as Pilger and Chomsky hate the US so much that they have forgotten this part of the story. The Eastern European nations, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic included, were scrambling to join NATO after the collapse of the USSR because they feared a newly aggressive Russia. The US argued against including these countries and even blocked Ukraine joining for fear of offending Russia. This is the story of the 90s and it’s all in the history books. Nobody seems to want to know the truth of how this war started. And as for supporting Putin in any way, you may as well declare you support what Hitler did. If you don’t know his criminal history since taking the Russian presidency you really need to read a few books.

  15. Yes there is a double standard.

    A climate activist faces charges carrying a ten year sentence for sending out a fake email.

    The pro-war mole inside RNZ, currently on paid leave curtesy of RNZ, who altered newsfeeds and passed them off as genuine, has not been charged or even named.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/132292695/climate-activist-argues-forged-email-cancelling-petroleum-conference-was-for-satirical-purpose

    The 64-year-old faces two forgery-related charges: making a false document and using a false document, with the latter carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years’ jail.
    Both charges arose out of a postponement letter for the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (Pepanz) conference in September 2019….
    ….Organisers found out early about the email and they were able to notify delegates, Smith said.
    The court heard Penwarden later went to Queenstown to protest outside the conference.
    A later investigation found the draft letters on her computer and police also found an article of her environmental concerns about the conference posted on a blog.

    The conference went ahead as planned, and wasn’t affected by Penwarden’s fake email. The raided her computer with the email on it. And cited a post on a public blog as evidence of Penwarden’s criminality.

    The pro-war liar who altered RNZ news feeds as far as we know, has not had their computer taken by the police.

    Double standard much.

  16. Of course there is a double standard and media bias, Palestinians feel this most keenly.

    The Israeli invaders and occupiers, unlike the Russian occupiers and invaders, don’t need a mole inside the Western media to alter the news feeds to give themselves favourable coverage or to cover up their war crimes, it is done for them automatically.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2022/12/19/are-palestinians-pro-russia

    Palestinians have been accused of being pro-Russia. But they are just tired of never-ending Western hypocrisy….
    …they have seen direct parallels between their own experience of occupation and military violence and the Ukrainians’.
    Whether it is the targeting of civilian housing, schools, religious buildings, etc; the destruction of the electrical grid as a form of collective punishment; accusations of using civilians as “live shields” when the death toll climbs; or the occupation power denying the nationhood and statehood of the occupied, the similarities are apparent….
    ….The West has unequivocally supported Ukrainian resistance and has not hesitated to call it that. Yet, it is difficult to ignore the fact that people resisting the Russian occupation of Eastern Ukraine have been called “partisans”, while Palestinians doing the same in Palestine – armed or unarmed – have always been framed as “terrorists”….
    ….The Palestinians, who have long suffered from Israeli wars and occupation, wish for the war in Ukraine to end, for Ukraine to be free. They stand in solidarity with the victims.
    Yet, they cannot hide their resentment at the unfair treatment they have received. Palestinian lives must matter to the rest of the world as much as Ukrainian lives do. War crimes and occupation must be condemned in Ukraine, but also in Palestine….

    Why the difference?

    While the invasion and occupation of Ukraine is a project of Russian imperialism. The invasion and occupation of Palestine is a Western imperial project.

    Similarly, Syrians 60 thousand who have died under Russian bombs also support the Ukrainian people against Russia, and like the Palestinians, Syrians resent the hypocrisy of the Western media.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/02/our-fates-are-united-syrians-rally-behind-ukraine-after-years-of-russian-torment

    In Idlib, residents say a playbook created in Syria of rampant disinformation, indiscriminate bombing, cyberwarfare and devastating heavy weaponry is certain to be used again.
    But to their surprise, the war of narrative, which had tipped decisively in Russia’s favour in Syria, is being lost in Ukraine, where a previously disengaged world has taken a keen interest….
    ….“Their suffering is ours,” said Elham Shaheen, a Syrian living in exile in Turkey. “We know better than anyone else in the world what Ukraine is going through. If they win, we do too. All of my family is watching on. Much of Syria is too.”
    Other Syrians spoke of the ease with which Russian propaganda is being shredded in Ukraine, and of hope their own agony would be viewed through a fresh prism.
    “We lived under Russian bombs and lies for six years,” said Marwan Issa, a villager from Homs, now in Idlib. “Our fates are now united.”

    All imperialist invasions and colonial projects need to be condemned. All people fighting imperialism need to be supported. A defeat for one imperialist colonialist power at the hands of a colonised and oppressed people is a defeat that weakens and frightens the imperialists on both sides of the imperialist divide.

    Many people in the world are fooled into supporting one imperialist against another. Opposition for one imperialist project, while supporting or ignoring your side’s imperialist project, is what makes imperialist conflict and world war possible.
    Media bias and propaganda is practiced by both sides. Our job is to condemn both sides and support the defeat of the imperialist aggressor who ever it is.

  17. “In this week’s Sunday Star Times, in a story meant to further foment Russophobia”

    My superpower good your superpower bad.

    A pro-war mole surreptitiously altering news feeds to spread Ukrophobia.

    Let’s not forget who is the victim here the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians in towns and cities living under Russian bombs and missiles every night.

  18. Instead of secretly trying to slur Ukrainians as the aggressor. If this individual was so sure that RNZ was lying to the NZ Public about the war in Ukraine, then they should have had the courage of their convictions to speak out as many Russian journalists have done and paid a heavy price for it.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/05/russian-journalist-ivan-safronov-sentenced-to-22-years-in-prison

    ….one reporter cut off another asking about a detail of the sentence: “I don’t know. I heard 22 years and I stopped fucking listening.”

  19. “While every detail in the second account is corroborated by numerous independent and authoritative reports freely available on the web.” Malcolm Evans

    Except that they don’t.

    Name one freely available authoritative report, Name one freely available independent source.

    You won’t because you can’t. Many pro-war commenters throw out similar blanket statements like this and expect us to take their word for it that such authoritative independent reports exist. Ask them to point to one so we can check it out, they always refuse.

    If this individual was so sure that RNZ was lying to the NZ Public about the war in Ukraine, then they should have had the courage of their convictions to go public, show us where the lies and falsehoods are. Instead of showing us where the alleged falsehoods are, this individual secretly] inserting their own version of reality into newsfeeds, never having to show his/her sources or proofs to corroborate their version of the truth, because they dishonestly passed it off as someone else’s word. While hiding in the shadows.

    For a real hero speaking truth to power

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Ovsyannikova#:~:text=As%20of%202022%2C%20Ovsyannikova%20lived,a%20television%20director%20for%20RT.

    Ovsyannikova graduated from the Kuban State University and later from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA). She worked for the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK). Since 1997, she was a journalist and news presenter for the “Kuban” TV channel (a regional subsidiary of VGTRK), and a favorite of its head Vladimir Runov, who is claimed to have helped her enter RANEPA.[8]

    In 2003, after moving to Moscow, she was hired by Channel One Russia.[8] Politico wrote: “Since 2003, her job was to watch Western news streams and press conferences, and collect excerpts that made the West look bad and Russia look good”.[14] The Telegraph described Ovsyannikova during her time at Channel One as a “state mouthpiece” and “the flesh and blood of the Kremlin’s propaganda machine”. Ovsyannikova retroactively described herself as “having spent many years producing Kremlin propaganda” while working for Channel One.[9]…

    Ovsyannikova initially supported Putin, but images of the war in Ukraine brought back memories of the war she experienced as a child in Chechnya. She had planned to protest near the Kremlin, but later decided it was not very useful.[15]

    On 14 March 2022, during a live broadcast related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the evening news programme Vremya, which had millions of viewers, she appeared behind the news anchor, Ekaterina Andreeva, carrying a poster stating in a mix of Russian and English:[16][17]

    Ukraine No War Russia
    Остановите войну
    не верьте пропаганде
    здесь вам врут
    [Stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, here you are being lied to.]
    Russians against war

    Ovsyannikova shouted:

    Остановите войну! Нет войне! [Stop the war! No war!]

    “What is happening in Ukraine is a crime. Russia is an aggressor country and the responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of only one person. That person is Vladimir Putin. My father is Ukrainian, my mother is Russian, and they’ve never been enemies. This necklace I’m wearing[a] is a symbol of that fact that Russia must immediately end this fratricidal war and our fraternal peoples will still be able to reconcile. Unfortunately, I’ve spent the last few years working for Channel One, doing Kremlin propaganda, and I’m very ashamed of this. Ashamed that I allowed lies to be broadcast from TV screens. Ashamed that I allowed others to zombify Russian people. We were silent in 2014 when all this started. We didn’t protest when the Kremlin poisoned Navalny. We just silently watched this inhuman regime at work. And now the whole world has turned its back on us. And the next ten generations won’t wash away the stain of this fratricidal war. We Russians are thinking and intelligent people. It’s in our power alone to stop all this madness. Go protest. Don’t be afraid of anything. They can’t lock us all away.” Marina Ovsyannikova

  20. Stop Ukrophobia

    (The enemy of your enemy is not your friend)

    “In this week’s Sunday Star Times, in a story meant to further foment Russophobia” Malcolm Evans

    Ben Morgan, is the Daily Blog’s Military Analyst. Ben’s analysis of the war in Ukraine, is that the Russian Federation invasion is failing.

    Malcolm Evans, is a talented cartoonist who has been a champion for Palestinian human rights. Malcollm Evans has accused those of us opposed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as being motivated by anti-Russian sentiment. What Malcolm calls “Russophobia”.

    Malcom Evans has accused Ben Morgan in particular of “propaganda”.
    How can Ben Morgan’s analysis be right? How can a small country like Ukraine be defeating a powerful country like Russia?

    STOP RUSSOPHOBIA
    By Malcolm Evans

    October 24, 2022
    Lest TDB readers believe the propaganda which “TDB’s Military analyst”, Ben Morgan, is a conduit for, that would have us believe one of the world’s most formidable military powers is losing to a military minnow,….

    It is not unprecedented for a small country to defeat a bigger one.
    Vietnam showed that a military minnow can indeed defeat, not just one of the most formidable military powers, but THE most formidable military power on the planet.
    For a small country fighting for their independence against a larger power, to have their best shot at success, they need a supply of weapons and munitions at least as plentiful as their attacker’s supply of weapons and ammunition.
    Russia and the Warsaw Pact supplied the Vietnamese with all the weapons and munitions that the Vietnamese needed to defeat the Americans.
    A small country fighting for freedom from an imperialist aggressor, to get weapons from the political and military imperial rival of their oppressor, is not unprecedented.

    German aid for Rising – 20 November 1914
    An Phoblacht/Republican News, 17 November 1994

    ……In the years prior to 1916, the assistance of Germany in supplying arms and ammunition for the Irish Volunteers was essential for the planning of the Easter Rising.
    Following the success of the Howth gun-running in July 1914, when munitions were landed from the Asgard and the outbreak of the war in Europe the following month, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) lost no time in establishing direct contact with the German authorities…..
    ….the Irish revolutionaries would take advantage of the war to strike for independence and would need arms and trained officers.

    The German Empire was a rival superpower, and enemy of the British Empire. The Irish were able to free themselves from the British Empire, (quite possibly the most powerful empire to ever have existed), with the aid of the Kaiser and the German Empire.

    Vietnam and Ireland are examples that show how it is possible for a ‘military minnow’ to beat, ‘one of the world’s most formidable military powers’.
    How does a justice campaigner like Malcolm Evans, wind up in a space where he denies the reality of Russia’s brutal Invasion and aggression against Ukraine? Why should we condemn Ukrainians for seeking aid from the West to defend themselves, from what is one of the worlds most formidable military powers?

    Stopping Ukrophobia:
    Powerful Russian Federation, efforts to convince us that Ukraine and Ukrainians are ‘Fascist’, is no doubt part of the reason for ‘Ukrophobia’.
    A country wanting to launch an aggressive war of choice, needs to demonise the subject of their aggression with a hateful label, to smear a whole people.
    As a supporter of the Palestinian resistance I know how this works….

    …..Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address to the World Zionist Congress in which he made the very controversial claim that the Holocaust was instigated by a leading Palestinian cleric…..
    …..There is, to be sure, a fair amount of historical research into the mufti’s ideological proclivities and his abhorrent views toward Europe’s Jews. He helped the Nazis with wartime propaganda directed toward Muslims and called for the destruction of Jewish settlements in Palestine in radio broadcasts…..
    …..”Islamofascism,” a concept sometimes invoked by Netanyahu, his supporters and American neoconservatives when speaking of the evils of Islamist extremism.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/10/22/the-real-reason-a-palestinian-mufti-allied-with-hitler-its-not-so-shocking/

    If a colonising power can succeed in demonising a people as fascists, or terrorists, or any other detested hateful label, then any crime against them can be justified in the eyes of the aggressor, If Palestinians and Ukrainians can be dehumanised as ‘fascists’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘antisemites’, committing crimes against them, like slamming missiles into apartment buildings, or desecrating a murdered journalist’s funeral are depicted as necessary, even just.

    Malcolm Evans is not alone in making this historic mistake.
    A number of impassioned liberal polemicists also support Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine.
    Many of these impassioned liberal polemicists have spent their lifetime documenting the crimes off Western Imperialism, some like Malcolm Evans, have paid a price for it. And I can understand their bitterness.

    In their own words, here are some of the rationalisations given by some notable liberal apologists for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    Noam Chomsky:
    https://therealnews.com/noam-chomsky-ukraine-climate-crisis-and-declining-empire

    John Mearsheimer,
    https://www.eui.eu/news-hub?id=john-mearsheimers-lecture-on-the-causes-and-consequences-of-the-ukraine-war

    John Pilger:
    https://consortiumnews.com/2022/09/07/john-pilger-silencing-the-lambs-how-propaganda-works/

    John Pilger has been one of the more vociferous Left voices in defence of Russian imperialism.
    In an essay, entitled,
    ‘How Propaganda Works’, John Pilger writes of a ‘void inside the German people’, a void ‘especially’ among liberal and educated Germans that Nazi propaganda filled. The Nazis answer to British Imperialism was German imperialism. It wasn’t.
    Liberal polemicists like John Pilgre and others who have dedicated their lives to exposing the evils of Western/US imperialism, cannot see that US imperialism is not the only evil in the world, and/or believe that Russian imperialism is a lesser evil, that the answer to the scourge of Western imperialism is Eastern imperialism. It isn’t.

    Leftists and liberals need to be mindful of the void inside that pro-war Russian propaganda fills.

    From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
    Slava Ukraine!

    Justice and victory will be yours.

    • My apologies for the formatting error. It seems the Capitols command in Malcolm Evens headline has bled into the rest of my comment.

      Bugger!

    • (Hopefully this version is more readable)

      Stop Ukrophobia
      (The enemy of your enemy is not your friend)

      “In this week’s Sunday Star Times, in a story meant to further foment Russophobia” Malcolm Evans

      Ben Morgan, is the Daily Blog’s Military Analyst. Ben’s analysis of the war in Ukraine, is that the Russian Federation invasion is failing.Malcolm Evans, is a talented cartoonist who has been a champion for Palestinian human rights. Malcolm Evans has accused those of us opposed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as being motivated by anti-Russian sentiment. What Malcolm calls “Russophobia”.

      Malcom Evans has accused Ben Morgan in particular of “propaganda”.
      How can Ben Morgan’s analysis be right? How can a small country like Ukraine be defeating a powerful country like Russia?

      It is not unprecedented for a small country to defeat a bigger one.
      Vietnam showed that a military minnow can indeed defeat, not just one of the most formidable military powers on the planet, but THE most formidable military power on the planet.
      For a small country fighting for their independence against a larger power, to have their best shot at success, they need a supply of weapons and munitions at least as plentiful and powerful as their attacker’s supply of weapons and ammunition.
      It is also not unprecedented for a small country fighting for their independence and freedom from an outside imperialist aggressor to get weapons from the political and military rival of their imperialist invader.
      Russia and the Warsaw Pact supplied the Vietnamese with the weapons the Vietnamese needed to defeat the Americans.

      Vietnam is not the only example of this:

      https://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/24566

      German aid for Rising – 20 November 1914
      An Phoblacht/Republican News, 17 November 1994

      …..In the years prior to 1916, the assistance of Germany in supplying arms and ammunition for the Irish Volunteers was essential for the planning of the Easter Rising.
      Following the success of the Howth gun-running in July 1914, when munitions were landed from the Asgard and the outbreak of the war in Europe the following month, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) lost no time in establishing direct contact with the German authorities…..
      ….the Irish revolutionaries would take advantage of the war to strike for independence and would need arms and trained officers….

      The German Empire was the rival superpower and enemy of the British Empire. The Irish were able to free themselves from the British Empire, (quite possibly the most powerful empire to ever have existed existed), with the aid of the Kaiser and the German Empire.

      Vietnam and Ireland are living examples that show how it is possible for a ‘military minnow’ to beat, ‘one of the world’s most formidable military powers’.

      This is why we should not listen to the self styled “Peace Activists” who are campaigning to stop Ukraine getting the weapons they need to defeat the Russian invader. It is not escalation to resist a foreign aggressor, it is self preservation and self defence.

      Why should we condemn Ukrainians for seeking aid from the West to defend themselves, from what in Malcolm’s words is one of the world’s most formidable military powers?

      So how does a justice campaigner like Malcolm Evans wind up in a space where he denies the reality of Russia’s brutal invasion and aggression against Ukraine and the justice of the Ukrainians resistance to that aggression?

      Stop Ukrophobia!

      Powerful Russian Federation efforts to convince people that Ukraine and Ukrainians are ‘Fascist’, is no doubt part of the reason for ‘Ukrophobia’.
      A country wanting to launch an aggressive war of choice, needs to demonise the subject of their aggression with a hateful label. To smear a whole people, using a non-representative example is a propaganda staple.
      As a supporter of Palestinian resistance, I know how this works;

      …..Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address to the World Zionist Congress in which he made the very controversial claim that the Holocaust was instigated by a leading Palestinian cleric…..
      …..There is, to be sure, a fair amount of historical research into the mufti’s ideological proclivities and his abhorrent views toward Europe’s Jews. He helped the Nazis with wartime propaganda directed toward Muslims and called for the destruction of Jewish settlements in Palestine in radio broadcasts…..
      …..”Islamofascism,” a concept sometimes invoked by Netanyahu, his supporters and American neoconservatives when speaking of the evils of Islamist extremism.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/10/22/the-real-reason-a-palestinian-mufti-allied-with-hitler-its-not-so-shocking/
      .
      Malcolm Evans is not the first and definitely not alone in making this historic mistake.
      A number of impassioned liberal polemicists also support Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine.
      Many of these impassioned liberal polemicists have spent their lifetime documenting the crimes off Western Imperialism, some like Malcolm Evans, have paid a price for it. And I can understand their bitterness.

      In their own words, here are some of the rationalisations. given by some notable liberal and Left apologists for the invasion of Ukraine.

      Noam Chomsky:
      https://therealnews.com/noam-chomsky-ukraine-climate-crisis-and-declining-empire

      John Mearsheimer,
      https://www.eui.eu/news-hub?id=john-mearsheimers-lecture-on-the-causes-and-consequences-of-the-ukraine-war

      John Pilger:
      https://consortiumnews.com/2022/09/07/john-pilger-silencing-the-lambs-how-propaganda-works/

      John Pilger has been one of the more surprising to me, Left voices to have come out in defence of Russian imperialism.
      In an essay, entitled, ‘How Propaganda Works’, John Pilger once wrote of a ‘void inside the German people’, a void ‘especially’ among liberal and educated Germans that Nazi propaganda filled. The Nazis answer to British Imperialism was German imperialism. It wasn’t.
      Liberal polemicists like John Pilger and other social justice campaigners who have dedicated their lives to exposing the evils of Western/US imperialism, can become blinded to the fact that US imperialism is not the only evil in the world, or come to believe that Russian imperialism is a lesser evil, that the answer to the scourge of Western imperialism is Eastern imperialism. It isn’t.

      Leftists and liberals need to be mindful of the void that pro-war Russian propaganda fills.

      From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
      Slava Ukraine!

      Justice and Victory will be Yours.

  21. A well written article I totally agree with.
    My thoughts are with the RNZ person who actually did some veracity testing and now seems will lose his income over it.
    This comment thread gives me hope we are not just a nation of sheep being hussled up the ramp by imperialist corporate monopolists.

    • “My thoughts are with the RNZ person who actually did some veracity testing and now seems will lose his income over it.” Iain Parker

      Lose his income?
      He or she can get another job and get on with their life. The worse case scenario and they can’t find another job, the New Zealand taxpayer will give them a job seeker allowance until they do. I know it is not much but it is better than nothing, and it is not a life sentence.
      But even before that happens they are still on paid leave pending a hearing into their misconduct.

      Compare this to losing 22 years of life or worse if they pulled this sort of stunt in Russia.

      Why not make an idiot of yourself and try and make a cause celebre for this individual’s case. Start a ‘Give A Little’ page, see how much money you can raise for the cause.

      Yeah, Nah.

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