The Media Beating The Drums Of War

My wife was upset this morning. As we watched the news over breakfast, she turned and asked me, “Does this mean the big bang? A nuclear war? The end of everything?”

I appreciated why she was concerned. For so long now, the BBC News (and every other media that I do not watch or read) has been spouting the doom-laden reports of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine. They get these reports from our govenment in Britain, and the US government spokespeople too.

To my mind, this fear-mongering reporting is irresponsible in the extreme, as they do not present the other side of the issue.

It would be disastrous economically for Russia to start a war with Ukraine. Sanctions would cripple their huge gas and oil industries, as most of their customers are in the EU.
Ukraine has the largest army in Europe, second only to the much larger Russian army. 250,000 regular soldiers, plus militia groups and armed civilians. A war with them would prove costly to Russia. Both in lives, and financially. And it could well drag on for a long time too.

Using nuclear weapons, suggested in one ridiculous report, does not take into account the geographical proximity of The Russian Federation to Ukraine. Using any nuclear option would be disastrous to those Russians living on the borders, as well as the whole country of Belarus, a Russian ally.

This morning, we heard dire warnings that UK and US nationals should leave Ukraine immediately, as there will be no ‘rescue mission’ should Russia invade. Irresponsible politicians, ramping up the rhetoric, tension, and threats. Panicking ordinary people for no good reason. Then irresponsible media, parroting their words with no balanced reporting.

And why do we consider Ukraine to be an ally? Because it wants to join NATO? This is a right-wing government that has ties with neo-nazis and nazi-sympathising militia groups. Should that country even be allowed to join NATO? I think not. Could it have more to do with trade deals, and Joe Biden and his son having close ties to that country?

I think it could.

Meanwhile, I would like to see less warmongering from all sides, and especially from the BBC.

74 thoughts on “The Media Beating The Drums Of War

  1. One can still hear or read praise, or conservatives’ scorn, heaped upon The New York Times for their supposed uncompromised integrity when it comes to humanitarianism and ethical journalism. Yet, did they not help create the Iraq War, through then-U.S.-VP Dick Cheney’s self-citing via the Times’ website? That would be the same Cheney who monetarily benefitted from the war via Iraqi oil fields — a war I consider to have been much more like a turkey shoot, considering the massive military might attacking the relatively weak country.

    I recall reading that The Times had essentially claimed honest-ignorance innocence on the grounds that it was its blogger’s overzealousness that was/is at fault. But is it really plausible that The Times did/does not insist upon securing the non-publishable yet accurate identity of its writers’ anonymous information sources — in this case, a devious Cheney — especially considering that Cheney himself would then use that anonymous source’s (i.e. his own) total BS about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify a declaration of war that inevitably resulted in genuine gratuitous mass suffering and slaughter, both abroad and domestically?

    I believe that The Times jumped on this atrocity-prone Iraq-invasion bandwagon also because of their close proximity to the massive 9/11 blow the city took only a few years prior. There was plenty of that particularly bitter bandwagon going around in Western circles back then.

    Quite memorable was Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman’s appearance on Charlie Rose’s show (May 29, 2003), where he ranted about the war’s justification and supposed success. “… We needed to go to that part of the world; and what they needed to see [was that] American boys and girls going house to house, from Basrah to Baghdad, [and] simply saying, ‘suck on this’.”

    It’s as though they all decided: ‘Just to be on the safe side, let’s error in favor of militarily assaulting, invading and devastating Iraq’.

    Apparently, every culture/nation has its own propaganda and core beliefs, true and false; though some culture/nations — usually the biggest, most powerful — are much more corrupt and brutal than the smaller, weaker ones. And western mainstream news-media are a significant part of this moral problem. Yet, the editors/journalists likely sleep well at night, nonetheless. …
    _____

    P.S. I’d have much greater respect for Liz Cheney regarding the brutal January 6 political aftermath she’s suffered (though I’ve read that her Congressional-riding electorate have mostly remained behind her and therefore her seat essentially secure) — if only she’d come out and denounce her then-VP father’s part in fraudulently manufacturing American consent for the 2003-11 attack on Iraq.

    Not surprisingly, many people (including me) would place Dick ahead of D. Trump on the Mr. Evil scale.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you read the recent article by former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock? It’s called I Was There: NATO and the Origins of the Ukraine Crisis. It gives the reader some much needed context being left out by the corporate media. The US is not an innocent bystander in the brewing conflict. NATO has been expanded to include 30 countries after the fall of the former USSR excluding Russia who asked to join. Washington has broken disarmament treaties, and according to Matlock the US was not really in favor of the fall of the former Soviet empire. The Cold War was good for business and lucrative contracts enriching the Military Industrial Complex. You can read the article or listen to interviews with Matlock on YouTube.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t get English papers here and certainly don’t miss them.. I have checked out a few news broadcasts when I heard whispers of Putin and invasion but I agree there is lot of posturing going on…. x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A comment from Kevin Morris, that failed to appear. It is reproduced from an email he sent me.

    It is the Russian Federation who are stoking the flames not the media
    or NATO. It is the Russian Federation who have built up their troop
    numbers on the borders with Ukraine. NATO only extended it’s reach
    into other (former) Soviet puppet (regimes (which are now democracies)
    as a consequence of Russia’s previous invasion of Ukrainian sovereign
    territory.

    Russia has produced great literary figures such as Tolstoy. It’s a
    great country. It’s a shame that its run by Vladimir Putin who has
    expressed his admiration for the former Soviet Union and who worked
    for the security services under the Communist regime.

    If anyone wants to know what the government of the Russian Federation
    think they can listen to Russia today online as that station puts out
    the Kremlin’s views.

    I remember, as a teenager listening to the English language broadcasts
    from Radio Moscow on my shortwave radio. Even at such a young age I
    knew something was wrong because the perspectives where one sided
    (unlike the BBC and other outlets which reflected a multiplicity of
    views).

    As regards western governments advising their citizens to leave
    Ukraine, imagine what would happen if they said nothing, a Russian
    invasion took place and citizens of the US, the UK and other western
    countries where killed. There would be uproar and people would rightly
    asked why governments had not advised citizens to leave Ukraine.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally agree with your political assessment, Pete! Our German politicians have once again leaned too far out of the window. First they made a boxer the mayor of Kiev, and then wanted to make other European states dependent on another pipeline. It seems as big the difference between Biden and Trump is, the political direction is to save the freedom. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Most of us don’t know the political details and are just getting told that we should be prepared for war. I don’t understand why we just don’t tell Putin it is very unlikely Ukraine will ever be allowed to join Nato and remember that years ago Russia was our ally – it could happen again!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Big business interests are probably hoping for a war of some kind, Julie. It is unlikely that Ukraine will be allowed into NATO anyway, but that thought does give Putin some justification for his claims of being ‘surrounded’.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s almost as though some idiots in government want to annoy Vladimir Putin so much that he cuts off the gas supply. It strikes me as rather a coincidence that last year the media was full of anti gas rhetoric and trying to push hugely expensive heat pumps on people, then come the new year gas prices went up, and we are told they are going to rise again and again–

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Considering that Putin is demanding that Ukraine doesn’t join NATO and remembering that a country with a disputed border cannot join NATO it seems like an easy concession. After all Crimea and Donesk isn’t going back to Ukraine anytime soon.
    All this talk of sanctions is a little rich as well, why didn’t they impose these tough sanctions after Crimea was taken?
    Meanwhile the energy companies are getting rich as oil, gas and electricity prices skyrocket, it makes you wonder who and what is behind the whole thing?
    Mind you at least Poland is winning as the workers flock here to fill the gaps left by low birth rates and a migrating population 🙂
    In fairness I listen to the BBC Radio 4 Today program, and whilst the situation is discussed they do seem to keep a sceptical slant to much of what is reported.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad to hear that Radio 4 is still flying the flag for commonsense, Eduardo. I think Germany put a block on sanctions after Crimea, as they rely on Russia for almost all of their energy supplies.
      Cheers, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with your points Eddy. Something very fishy going on here, and it’s not Vladmir Putin behind it. Russia gets an income off selling their gas. Why would they wish to cease doing that?

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Over here the media is owned by the very industries that profit most from war….so the warmongering is to be expected. I wish more people were as concerned as Julie…but they had rather worry about clogged toilets at the White House…..chuq

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many people here pay no attention to the news, and are more interested in celebrities and game shows. But when the BBC mentions the ‘threat of nuclear war’, some start to sit up and listen.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s hard to comment on this situation without getting into American politics. So I’ll simply say that I’m concerned for the welfare of Ukraine’s citizens, and hope that Arina Domski, a Ukrainian classical crossover performer with whom we’re both familiar, stays safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have lost so many of the ‘investigative reporters’ that gave us such well-balanced new in the past. Now it seems that the BBC is simply reading out the UK government press releases.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree with all of your “war mongering” points as it is despicable…however, I have to correct you Pete – the current President to the United States does NOT have ANY ties to Ukraine…his son on was on a private company’s board of directors there and nothing more…the children of our Previous President did the same on more than 100 companies, so you decide where the scandal is – please don’t conflate the two…but I totally agree that the media is breathlessly pushing us into a really bad scenario because it’s good for ratings and “clicks” – sickening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, John. Those supposed ‘ties’ between Ukraine and the Bidens have been extensively reported here. Perhaps just another example of no balance in reporting then?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  11. Agree with you there Pete, our media are pretty poor at giving full picture (wonder if that’s because the sitting govt has paid to major media large sums to maintain the prescibed narative) I’d worry more of unsatable countries with nukes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bobby. They have been reporting a lot about ‘anti-government’ feeling in New Zealand at the moment. That’s a sudden change from praising your PM over her way of dealing with Covid-19.
      Cheers mate, Pete.

      Like

      1. This govt since the day they got in has over promised and heavily under acheived, braking promises all over the place, introducing laws without proper process and a PM that smiles when making anouncments that impact heavily on business owners. The PM has always wanted to be the one to eliminate the virus and still has that way of thinking (when questioned the word eliminate apparently didn’t mean what every one else thought it did). Hitting headlines (gun laws) as progressive etc but gun crime has increased, they make policy without thinking of wider impact. Oh well I’ve vented now and can get on with my day. Actually NZ is a pretty good place to live 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Our main stream media has presented the same reasons you give for why it would be disastrous for Putin (notice I singled him out rather than Russia) to attack the Ukraine, I see that the rightwing (Trump) attempt to tie Biden to the Ukraine has stuck in the rightwing media here and there. From what I can tell from the information sources to which I have access, it is all up to Putin and his pretext for invasion is pretty flimsy as the Ukraine has a long way to go to begin to qualify for NATO membership including shedding its neo-Nazi links. Warmest regards, I must add, however, that the prospect of Putin just stopping his intimidation (buildup of forces on the Ukraine’s border) is not good. Theo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m with you Pete. The jingoists are beating the drums loud and clear. This morning the warning went out to US citizens to leave Ukraine with 24 – 48 hours. “We can’t come and get you!”

    Like we would tolerate a close ally of Russia in Mexico.

    Best from Florida.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s also to do with headline grabbing to increase viewers, just like the press do when they print sensationalist headlines of food shortages or petrol shortages trying to sell more newspapers but causing panic buying instead. I haven’t read a newspaper for years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yes I remember that one last year Stevie! Our supermarkets were going to be empty due to Brexit and lorry drivers. Meanwhile my local Tesco and Lidl had plenty of food. *eye roll*

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I agree with you Pete. It seems the media are trying to outdo each other on their headlines to attract readers and revenue. The worrying thing is that western politicians show little gumption in de-escalating tensions and just strut about . Currently, and since Brexit they don’t trust each other never mind Putin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Paul. I just want to see a return to some ‘balanced reporting’. But I think that ship has sailed. And they have the temerity to criticise China and the DPRK for having ‘state-controlled’ media.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Remember when Kim Jung Un was going to start a nuclear war or something about 4 years ago? There always has to be some big doom headline to make us feel utterly miserable.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes indeed. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was at primary school in London, aged 10. They used the wartime air-raid siren on the roof of my school, and we had to practice sitting under our desks with our backs to the windows. In a central London school, at the epicentre of the ‘target area’, how ridiculous was that? We would all have been turned to ash as soon as a missile exploded.
      Thanks KF.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. A few years back.. before Trump… I was a security guard at a Louis Vuitton store on the Vegas Strip and the occasional young staff person would ask me during passing chat if we were really going to war with Iran… which was heavy in the news cycle at the time. Times change.. or more like seemingly volatile situations go into some sort of political remission. Then something else takes its place. I agree, Pete.. nukes are far from any of this.. and I am still 60% thinking there’s going to be no great invasion by Russia into Ukraine. Some small incursion disguised as something, perhaps.. like an increase in cyber activity,, attempted coup by those “separatisists”.. maybe.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There are already separatist pro-Russians in Ukraine, and many people there who would actually welcome a return to the Soviet era. But that never gets reported. All the ‘balance’ in our media has gone. It went with the brave ‘investigative reporters’ we used to admire in the 60s and 70s.
      Thanks, Doug.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. If the pro-US western politicians want war, Vladimir will not oblige. All he wants is a peaceful western border to his motherland, and who can blame him. Biden and his lapdogs should be given a cudgel each and told to beat each other to a pulp. Whoever survives should be shot. I can’t stand warmongering politicians or journalists!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I feel for Julie because the intent is to rile us up and instill fear. It seems counter to all we have been taught to believe, but steering away from modern news outlets is important to maintain our mental and physical health.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Fortunately, I have read enough that I am able to balance out the hysterical news. But my wife knows little about the situation in Russia, or the former Soviet countries. She was terrified that the news meant there would be a World War Three.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Don. Not everyone reads ‘behind the news’, or understands politics. My wife was genuinely concerned, more for her children and grandchildren. She asked me if her sons would be drafted into the army, and have to fight in Ukraine. We need to see some balanced reporting, and the BBC should be ashamed.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I agree Pete. I am deliberately not watching or reading about what is going on as there is not a thing I can do about it and getting myself worried and upset is pointless. I hate that the masses are manipulated by politicians and the media. I am actually more concerned about the truckers in Canada that the media is carefully avoiding, but I can’t do anything about that either.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The BBC started reporting about the Canadian truckers last week, and they had a very long report about it at lunchtime today. Now some French people are blocking roads in France, protesting about Covid restrictions. We no longer have any restrictions in England, so no roadblocks here.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

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