It could be just me but the media seem different today from the days of my youth. Back then I felt I could count on a responsible press to ferret out the facts and present them as fairly and accurately as possible. Now, the “news” seems tainted by all kinds of outside influences, from corporate pressure to the ratings game – with various special interests constantly seeking to “spin” the facts in their favor.
Consider the reporting on the violence in the Ukraine, for example. Do you really know what’s going on? I don’t.
It seems to me that CNN and the other TV news channels are presenting the violence as a kind of “Arab Spring,” in which “the people” are rising up to throw off the yoke imposed on them by a wicked dictator who is in Russia’s pocket.
Some of that could be true. There’s a part of the Ukraine that harbors deep grudges against Russia.It would not be surprising if they were angered by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to sign a financial agreement with Russia instead of joining the European Economic Union.
But those people got to vote in the election that made Yanukovych president. They lost, as some people inevitably do in democratic elections. And it seems to me they should live with it, not throw Molotov cocktails about.
What I haven’t heard discussed on CNN or MSNBC (my TV news sources) is the role being played by American right-wing agitators. But I’ve been reading that kind of thing on the web, where American subversion is widely blamed for the violent uprising.
Reports on the web claim that America has “invested” $5 billion in influencing Ukrainian politics, and that private US-based organizations are working with the CIA to bring about “regime change” in that country. I’ve even read that many of the violent protesters are being paid to throw those Molotov cocktails.
Obviously, I don’t know how much of this (if any) is true. But I understand there are groups that secretly subvert foreign governments, supposedly in the interests of the United States, and that some of these private initiatives receive government funding.
I would like to say the Republicans are behind it. After all, one of the alleged right-wing troublemakers is the National Endowment for Democracy (a bedfellow of John McCain’s International Republican Institute), and I understand McCain has been visiting the Ukraine, stirring up hostility against Russia. But billionaire George Soros, who has been one of the Democratic Party’s biggest financial supporters, is also being identified as one of those working for “regime change” in the Ukraine.
And there’s that leaked Victoria Nuland phone conversation (the one in which she used some shockingly salty language). Nuland is the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in the Obama Administration and she was unknowingly taped while talking to Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine, about regime change in that former Soviet nation.
Obviously, there’s more than one political party – or political movement – involved in whatever is going on in the Ukraine.
I’ve even read reports of neo-Nazi involvement in the uprising. A man named Dmitro Yarosh, the leader of Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), has been telling the foreign press that his men have amassed an arsenal of deadly weapons and are prepared “to defend all of Ukraine” from the government.
It’s worrying for so many reasons. Once again, the world seems in danger of war – hot or cold. Once again, America is being dragged into confrontations between foreign interest groups. I read, for example, that President Obama and Vladimir Putin are exchanging warnings about the Ukraine.
Have the people who really run America learned nothing from Iraq and Afghanistan? Or have they learned even more about fostering their own interests at the expense of the nation’s?