War or Images of War?

ukraine troop
Members of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces, volunteer military units of the Armed Forces, train in a city park in Kyiv, Ukraine, Jan. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

Experienced foreign policy analysts such as Ray McGovern, Scott Ritter, and Pepe Escobar, while agreeing that the Biden administration is clearly guilty of provoking Russia over Ukraine, are divided over whether it will lead to war.  All agree that Russia has no intention of invading Ukraine and that it is clearly justified in demanding safe borders by insisting U.S./NATO withdraw troops and missiles from the countries surrounding it, stop NATO’s “open door” policy, stop putting nuclear weapons in Europe, etc.

Clearly such demands are consonant with the U.S.’s own historical demands for safe borders, evidenced most clearly in the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 when the world nearly suffered a nuclear war over Soviet missiles in Cuba.  And equally obvious is the fact that the American posture today is hypocritical in the extreme and can only be accepted by propagandists and those ignorant of history.  The Biden administration must assume that most people are ignoramuses and that its obvious belligerence and blatant propaganda will pass as some sort of defense of freedom, even when the U.S. engineered a Ukrainian coup d’état in 2014 in support of Neo-Nazis when Biden was President Obama’s vice-president.  But that was nearly eight years ago, which is an eternity in a country of amnesiacs.

Whether this U.S. persistent aggression is a propaganda charade or not, it is a most dangerous game.  In December 2021, Russia claimed that the U.S. was preparing a false flag event to provoke a Russian response.  This was dismissed or ignored by the western media as absurd.  Recently, however, the Biden administration has been pounding the message that it is Russia that is preparing a false flag event to blame on Ukraine in order to justify a Russian invasion.  The western press, led by The New York TimesCNNThe Guardian, and the Washington Post – stenographers for the CIA, British intelligence, and the Pentagon – have become more hysterical by the day pushing this lie without any evidence whatsoever.  It is sardonically comical. If evidence doesn’t exist, of course, it can be manufactured, as with “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, etc.  It’s easy as pie. To call these media the Yellow Press is an understatement.

When Russia accuses the U.S. of using “information terrorism,” it is of course correct.  For we are living in a MKULTRA mind control operation with multiple facets.  Ukraine, Covid, economic warfare, etc. – a hydra-headed monster whose goal is total control of regular people, who are treated as morons incapable of reason and the most basic logic.  Toward confirming and strengthening this premise, the media provide a daily menu of mixed and contradictory messages meant to confuse, confound, and mess with people’s sense of their own ability to understand the world.

If the public is to be convinced that the Russians have started a war, it will be attempted not so much through words as through images, as Gustave Le Bon predicted long ago in his book, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind.  In analyzing the “crowd mind” in 1895, he was addressing the anxiety the middle class was feeling because of popular unrest.  The fear of popular unrest, such as the truckers Freedom Convoy in Canada and the Yellow Vests in France, is today a major factor in the propaganda war waged by the elite press.  Call it class warfare.

Le Bon argued that the crowd thinks in images, not words, and it is through images that the rulers can control them.  Freud agreed with his basic premise that people in groups occupied an “hypnotic state,” while adding that this was also true for individuals who craved illusions.  Pessimistic as it was, Le Bon’s point about the crowd thinking in images – “The image itself immediately calls up a series of other images, having no logical connection to the first” – was picked up by all the influential propagandists, including the American father of the euphemistically named “public relations” industry, Edward Bernays.  Today it is all about images, still and moving ones.

Thus, one can expect to see the media using photos and film to create an emotional response in the population to convince it that Russia, not the U.S. is the villain in this standoff.  Yet again, it may not be a standoff, for it is possible that the Biden administration is really intent on war because they have become completely untethered from reality and think such a war is winnable.  Perhaps they think they can entice Russia to take their bait and do something that can be spun as an “invasion” of Ukraine.  This would run counter to Russia’s longstanding, patient diplomatic efforts to resolve these matters and to convince the U.S./NATO that the unipolar era is over and now that it is a multipolar world there must be an end to the encircling of Russia with U.S./NATO troops and weapons.

We shall see.  I don’t know whether there will be a major war or not, but I know how it will be managed.  I’ll give you six guesses, as does The New York Times with its newly acquired word game, Wordle.  The Grey Lady also knows the answer.  It’s not “censor,” for that’s six not five letters and they’ve censored the words already.  It’s not “slave,” for they have prohibited that word since some people might find it offensive or get the idea that censorship is used to create slaves to the lie.  It is, as required, five letters and begins with the letter “I”.

Try to picture it.  It’s easy if you try.

Edward Curtin is an independent writer whose work has appeared widely over many years.  His website is edwardcurtin.com and his new book is Seeking Truth in a Country of Lies 


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