March 9—The American mass media have been incessantly bombarding Americans with the idea that Russians are monsters, and that there are not—repeat not—any neo-Nazis fighting as part of the Ukrainian forces. For example, PBS Newshour recently lionized Artem Semenikhin, mayor of the small town of Konotop, for his “dogged resistance” to Russia:
“We are ready to fight to the end … to defeat these Russian cockroaches.” He proudly displays his automatic weapon. “My weapons are American.” He brags: “I think the occupiers will be pleased that we’re killing them with American weapons.” Then he goes outside to rabble rouse in the town square.
The problem is that PBS got their video footage of their “small-town mayor” character, and up on wall behind him for all to see was a giant portrait of the 1940s Nazi collaborator and nationalist Ukrainian hero, Stepan Bandera. PBS chose to deal with the problem by simply blurring the portrait portion of the video: no neo-Nazis here.
This blatant media lying is the subject of Patrick Lawrence column in Consortium News on Tuesday, March 8. First, Lawrence notes that any count of fatalities in Ukraine has to begin with the 14,000 dead in the Donbas, along with the 1.5 million refugees, all prior to 2022, from Kiev’s treatment of its Ukrainian citizens. Then he makes the salient point that the West is doing “Brzezinski 1979” all over again—but using Nazi militias in Ukraine instead of mujahideen in Afghanistan.
Getting to the PBS travesty, he refers to the January 2021 NATO study, “Cognitive Warfare”—really a technological application of the infamous Bertrand Russell description of a level of brainwashing skill, whereby a government could convince a population that “Snow is black.” Lawrence quotes: “The brain will be the battlefield of the 21st century. Humans are the contested domain. Cognitive warfare’s objective is to make everyone a weapon.” (He also picks out, for fun, this self-damning quote: “In particular, the brain is unable to distinct [sic] whether information is right or wrong.”
For Lawrence, the PBS blurring of the Bandera portrait was yet another obnoxious step in the “Cognitive War,” a war where going for clarity is the pathway out. With individual minds making that fight for clarity, he concludes that an effort to examine a) the “regrettable but necessary” Russian intervention, and b) the Putin-Xi joint statement of Feb. 4, will provide the needed clarity for American self-examination: “[W]e are all called upon either to recognize the United States for what it has become, an empire violently defending itself history itself, or accept our fate among the victims of this empire.”