Let us not mince words: the Neoconservative and Liberal-Interventionist minions of President Obama are professional card cheats whose words must be read only as cynical lies
by Gilbert Doctorow, Ph.D,
The consequences in daily life of the ongoing information war between Russia and the United States-led West are often paradoxical if not downright confusing. Confusion may indeed be the prime objective of both sides, following the old maxim: if you cannot convince, confuse.
Today’s edition of the portal www.visitwinchestervirginia.com, a rather unlikely source of information for the general public but quite possibly a concealed asset of Russia’s Sputnik or RIA Novosti news agency, carries the story “Rice: “Minsk-2″ could be completed before the end of the term of the Obama administration.” You will not find this article on the online edition of The New York Times. But you will find it under the News heading of Google.ru, which offers three mainstream Russian news sources carrying it.
The Russians have presumably picked it up because it offers hope of an end to sanctions before the term of Barack Obama expires in January 2017. There are many Russians inside and outside the government who want to believe in fairy tales.
However, the likely intended target of the underlying story coming out of Washington was Europe. The timing for this accommodating and optimistic position statement by one of Obama’s closest advisers on security matters is very well chosen to influence opinions within the EU in the next couple of weeks when the 28 Member States take a decision whether or not to extend the present sanctions for another six months. After all, if the pressure on Russia has brought the Kremlin to the point of implementing fully the Minsk-2 terms, why let up. The intent is to shut up Hungary, Italy and most recently France, who have raised their voices in recent weeks. These waverers have suggested both that the sanctions question needs open discussion now and that some softening should be implemented without delay.
The underlying assumption in Rice’s statement is that Washington can break the deadlock on the Ukrainian side that has held up progress on implementation of Minsk-2, namely the passage through the Rada of laws for holding elections in the breakaway republics of the Donbass due to be held in July. Given the present configuration of power in Kiev in favor of the radicals it is hard to believe anything of the sort will happen.
Meanwhile, the wavering within Europe has been wildly exaggerated, partly with the help of self-deluding Russians who carried on all their major media for two days the near unanimous vote earlier this week by the French Senate to soften sanctions, thereby putting both houses of the French legislature on record as opposing the policy of President Hollande and the EU leadership to punish Russia over Ukraine.
By contrast, French major media largely overlooked the vote in their own Senate.
These distortions in information being fed to the general public both in Russia and in the West do not resemble what one might expect under the term propaganda. But they have the same effect of muddling minds. And in the very dangerous times in which we are living, when NATO is conducting its largest ever war games, Anaconda, very close to Russia’s borders, rehearsing, we are told, the capture of the Kaliningrad enclave, the last thing we need is muddled minds.
© Gilbert Doctorow, 2016
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G, Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His most recent book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.