[This article is derived from a speech I made at the July 23rd Peace and Freedom Rally in Kingston New York]
There are some things that I believe to be true about the anarchy that purports to be US foreign policy. First, and most important, I do not believe that any voter cast a ballot for Joe Biden because he or she wanted him to relentlessly pursue a needless conflict with Russia that could easily escalate into a nuclear war with unimaginable consequences for all parties. Biden has recently declared that the US will support Ukraine “until we win” and, as there are already tens of billions of dollars of weapons going to Ukraine plus American “advisers” on the ground, it constitutes a scenario in which American and Russian soldiers will soon likely be shooting at each other. The President of Serbia and columnists like Pat Buchanan and Tulsi Gabbard believe that we are already de facto in World War 3 and one has to wonder how the White House is getting away with ignoring the War Powers mandates in the US Constitution.
Second, I believe that the Russians approached the United States and its allies with some quite reasonable requests regarding their own national security given that a hostile military alliance was about to land on its doorsteps. The issues at stake were fully negotiable but the US refused to budge on anything and Russia felt compelled to take military action. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a good war. I categorically reject anyone invading anyone else unless there is a dire and immediate threat, but the onus on how the Ukraine situation developed the way it did is on Washington.
Third, I believe that the US and British governments in particularly have been relentlessly lying to the people and that the media in most of west is party to the dissemination of the lies to sustain the war effort against Russia in Ukraine. The lies include both the genesis and progress of the war and there has also been a sustained effort to demonize President Vladimir Putin and anything Russian, including food, drinks, the Russian language and culture and even professional athletes. The latest victim is a Tchaikovsky symphony banned in Canada. Putin is being personally blamed for inflation, food shortages and energy problems which more properly are the fault of the Washington-led ill-thought-out reaction to him. There is considerable irony in the fact that Biden is giving Ukraine \$1.7 billion for healthcare, while healthcare in the US is generally considered among the poorest in the developed world.
I believe that Russia is winning the war comfortably and Ukraine will be forced to give up territory while the American taxpayer gets the bill for the reckless spending policies, currently totaling more than \$60 billion, while also looking forward to runaway inflation, energy shortages, and, in a worst-case scenario, a possible collapse of the dollar.
All of the above and the politics behind it has led me to believe that the United States, assisted by some of its allies, has become addicted to war as an excuse for domestic failures as well as a replacement for diplomacy to settle international disputes. The White House hypocritically describes its role as “global leadership” or maintaining a “rules based international order” or even defending “democracy against authoritarianism.” But at the same time the Biden Administration has just completed a fiasco evacuation that ended a twenty-year occupation of Afghanistan. Not having learned anything from Afghanistan, there are now US troops illegally present in Syria and Iraq and Washington is conniving to attack Iran over false claims made by Israel that the Iranians are developing a nuclear weapon. Neither Syria nor Iraq nor Iran in any way threaten the United States, just as the Russians did not threaten Americans prior to a regime change intervention in Ukraine starting in 2014, when the US arranged the overthrow of a government that was friendly to Moscow. The US has also begun to energize NATO to start looking at steps to take to confront the alleged Chinese threat.
The toll coming from constant warfare and fearmongering has also enabled a steady erosion of the liberties that Americans once enjoyed, including free speech and freedom to associate. I would like to discuss what the ordinary concerned citizen can do to cut through all the lies surrounding what is currently taking place, which might well be described as the most aggressive propaganda campaign the world has ever seen, far more extensive than the lying and dissimulation by the White House and Pentagon officials that preceded the disastrous Iraq war. It is an information plus propaganda war that sustains the actual fighting on the ground, and it is in some senses far more dangerous as it seeks to involve more countries in the carnage while also creating a global threat perception that will be used to justify further military interventions.
Part of the problem is that the US government is awash with bad information that it does not know how to manage so it makes it hard to identify anything that might actually be true. Back in my time as an intelligence officer operating overseas, there were a number of short cuts that were used to categorize and evaluate information. For example, if one were hanging out in a local bar and overheard two apparent government officials discussing something of interest that might be happening in the next week, one might report it to Washington with a source description FNU/LNU, which stood for “first name unknown” and “last name unknown.” In other words, it was unverifiable hearsay coming from two individuals who could not be identified. As such it was pretty much worthless, but it clogged up the system and invited speculation.
My personal favorite, however, was the more precise source descriptions developed by military intelligence using an alphabet letter followed by a number in a sequence running from A-1 to F-6. At the top of an intelligence report there would be an assessment of the source, or agent. A-1 meant a piece of information that was both credible and had been confirmed by other sources and that was also produced by an agent that had actual access to the information in question. At the other end of the scale, an F-6 was information that was dubious produced by a source that appeared to have no actual access to the information.
By that standard, we Americans have been fed a lot of largely fabricated F-6 “fake information” coming from both the government and the media to justify the Ukraine disaster. Here is how you can spot it. If it is a newspaper or magazine article skim all the way down the text until you reach a point towards the end where the sourcing of the information is generally hidden. If it is attributed to a named individual who indeed indisputably had direct access to the information it would at least suggest that the reporting contains a kernel of truth. But that is almost never the case, and one normally sees the source described as an “anonymous source” or a “government official” or even, in many cases, there is no source attribution at all. That generally means that the information conveyed in the reporting is completely unreliable and should be considered the product of a fabricator or a government and media propaganda mill. When a story is written by a journalist who claims to be on the scene it is also important to check out whether he or she is actually on site or working from a pool operating safely in Poland to produce the reporting. Yahoo News takes the prize in spreading propaganda as it currently reproduces press releases originating with the Ukrainian government and posts them as if they are unbiased reporting on what is taking place on the ground.
Another trick to making fake news look real is to route it through a third country. When I was in Turkey we in CIA never placed a story in the media there directly. Instead, a journalist on our payroll in France would do the story and the Turkish media would pick it up, believing that because it had appeared in Paris it must be true even though it was not. Currently, I have noted that a lot of apparently MI-6 produced fake stories on Ukraine have been appearing in the British media, most notably the Telegraph and Guardian. They are then replayed in the US media and elsewhere to validate stories that are essentially fabricated.
Television and radio media is even worse than print media as it almost never identifies the sources for the stories that it carries. So my advice is to be skeptical of what you read or hear regarding wars and rumors of wars. The war party is bipartisan in the United States and it is just itching to seize the opportunity to get a new venture going, and they are oblivious to the fact that they might in the process be about to destroy the world as we know it. We must expose their lies and unite and fight to make sure that they can’t get away with it!
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is [email protected].