When ‘Disinformation’ Is Truth

March 13, 2017

Exclusive: Democrats and liberals have climbed into bed with the neocons to push the “Russia-did-it” conspiracy theory as a way to “get Trump,” but this New McCarthyism has grave dangers, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The anti-Russian McCarthyism that has spread out from the United States to encompass the European Union, Canada and Australia has at its core an implicit recognition that neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy have failed.

A scene from “Dr. Strangelove,” in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

When I recently asked a European journalist why this anti-Russian hysteria had taken root among mainstream European political parties, he answered with a question: “Do you think they can run on their success in handling the recession and the refugees?”

In other words, European voters are angry about the painful economic conditions that followed the Wall Street crash of 2008 and the destabilizing surge of immigrants fleeing from Western “regime change” wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.

So, like the Democratic Party that doesn’t want to engage in a soul-searching self-examination about Donald Trump’s victory, the European “establishment” parties need a handy excuse to divert criticism – and that excuse is Russia, a blame-shifting that has allowed nearly every recent criticism of an establishment government official to be sloughed off as “Russian disinformation.”

It doesn’t even matter anymore that the criticism may be based on solid fact. Even truthful information is now deemed “Russian disinformation” or Russian-inspired “fake news.”

We saw that in the Canadian mainstream media’s denunciations of Consortiumnews.com for running an article that pointed out that Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had misrepresented her family history to white-out her maternal grandfather’s role editing a Nazi newspaper in Poland that demonized Jews and justified the Holocaust.

Virtually every mainstream outlet in Canada rallied to Freeland’s side when she dismissed our article as Russian disinformation. Only later did a few newspapers grudgingly acknowledge that our story was true and that Freeland knew it was true. Still, the attacks on us continued. We were labeled “Russian disinformationists,” with no evidence needed to support the slander and no defense allowed.

Though arguably a small example, the Freeland story reflects what is happening across the Western mainstream news media. Almost every independent-minded news article that questions the establishment narratives on international affairs is dismissed as “Russian propaganda.” The few politicians, academics and journalists who don’t march in the establishment’s parade are “Moscow stooges” or “Putin apologists.”

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