Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The question of "propaganda"

A comment in last night's Daily Shot on the situation in Ukraine and Russia has resulted in a flurry of responses from the readers. Given how charged the situation is - both on the ground as well as globally - it's helpful to have a discussion on the topic. To start with, here is the original statement - which was clearly one-sided:
The Ukrainian currency (hryvnia) is in free-fall- almost 20 to the euro now – with violence flaring up as ceasefire collapses. According to the Moscow propaganda machine, the oppressed Russians in eastern Ukraine are fighting the evil Western “fascists”. It’s working well for Putin in maintaining popularity.


Below are two of the numerous "letters to the editor" in full:

Dear Author,

I’m personally so disappointed of your one-sided perception of the world. I have a plea for you - please be more politically correct when you are saying this: “According to the Moscow propaganda machine, the oppressed Russians in eastern Ukraine are fighting the evil Western “fascists””. Please, take 5 min of your time and look at the photos and video in the Internet - there are plenty facts of fascists on the streets in Ukraine. Don’t be so naive and look what West did in Ukraine starting this “colour revolution” (bombing civil people and Ukraine officials refuse to talk with half of the country, as they do not adhere to Western views). Is it democracy? When Ukrainian fascists burned 50 people in building in Odessa, people who want to say that they disagree with what is happening now - is it not fascism? I don’t talk even about Donbass, where thousands of civilians were killed by ultranazi group Right Sector and Ukrainian Army.

And who gave the power to US to start this revolution and then to interfere to this situation? It’s over 10 000 miles from US borders? Why NATO is expanding year to year trying to make artificial evil from Russia & China? Think about it...

And please, when you say something look at the situation from both sides, don’t be biased by CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, etc. - they are showing only one part of the real situation!

Best regards,
Your Reader


Thank you for your most excellent charts.

I am prompted to reply to your comment about the "Russian propaganda machine". This type of phraseology is becoming nnoticeablymore frequent. By comparison to the lack of subtlety of Russian propaganda, Western propaganda is perhaps more sophisticated (in the true sense of the word), and all the more insidious and dangerous because of it.

A knowledge of history and of geography allows one to see at least some grains of truth in the Russian statements. The perception (and the implication) that the propaganda is all one-sided is itself a product of Western propaganda. Can you not see the irony?


Readers are invited to comment on this issue - either in the comment section or on the survey below.

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