Guardian propaganda on Gaza

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s western-backed Palestine Authority, which is controlled by Fatah, fought a war with Hamas over Gaza in 2007, which led to Hamas taking over.

The above is from this article. There is no mention of in the article that Hamas won the election in Gaza. [1] A standard piece of sheer make-belief from the system press. And they go on about RT….

 

Notes

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_legislative_election,_2006

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jun/02/gaza-israel-flotilla-hamas  – in this Guardian opinion piece the writer acknowledges that Hamas did indeed win a “fair election”.

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Propaganda by stealth

Propaganda doesn’t have to be full-on. It can be quite subtle. Here’s an example from the Guardian – that amplifier for the State Department:

It appears in a story about a British IT Security consultant being arrested by the FBI on charges related to creating hacking tools:

It [the WannaCry malware] moved particularly quickly through corporate networks thanks to its reuse of security exploit, called EternalBlue, first discovered by the NSA before being stolen and leaked by an allegedly Russian-linked hacking group called The Shadow Brokers.

A reader who was not all that tech-savvy reading the above might think that ‘EternalBlue’ was something which just exists in reality and which was (as the text says) ‘discovered’ by NSA (National Security Agency – US Intelligence). In fact: EternalBlue was one of numerous pieces of malware developed by the NSA in order to conduct espionage campaigns against third-party targets. (These targets included commercial companies as well as governments). EternalBlue was indeed ‘stolen’ (in as much as one set of criminals can steal from another) and then made publicly available.

A subtle difference? Not really: discovering an exploit is one matter. Producing a piece of malware which uses the exploit to intrude into systems is something else altogether. The NSA did the latter; not the former, as the Guardian would have you believe.

It was this malware which was obtained and then made publicly available by the ShadowBrokers. Edward Snowden, and others, believed that Russia was behind the ShadowBrokers. (The idea was that Russia, by showing that it has access to US intelligence hacking tools, was demonstrating that it could prove that the US was behind hacking attempts on third-parties). At any event – which is worse: building a tool to break into buildings or stealing that tool?

The Guardian is trying to spin this as Russia as the bad guy and the NSA as the good guys. But it’s propaganda. A little lie – swap ‘created by’ for ‘discovered by’ – and they hope that you won’t notice…

 

More untruths in the Guardian about Russia

The Guardian is lying again.

This is their recent headline about a European Court of Human Rights judgement against Russia:

Russian ‘gay propaganda’ law ruled discriminatory by European court

Law banning promotion of homosexuality breaches freedom of expression rules, says European court of human rights

There are two lies here. Firstly; the law referred to is concerned with propagandizing to minors – not universally as is said here. Secondly, the law concerned relates to “non-traditional” relations, not just homosexuality. It is the Guardian, which is obsessed with homsosexuality, which interprets it in this way.

The law in question is titled: “Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values”. 

The law was passed by the elected Russian parliament (not imposed by a repressive dictatorship) in June 2013.

This is the text of the law published by an official government Russian newspaper. (It translates well in Google Translate). The reader can see that the law is concerned with minors and with ‘non-traditional’ sexual relations in general.

This is an article on a Russian news site linked to the Orthodox Church – which provides a view from Russia on this law. After all; it is their law, their culture, their society.

The Guardian article in question admits in the text that:

The Russian law bans giving children any information about homosexuality and is widely thought to have made life harder for gay Russians, who were already battling deep social prejudices

Even this is only half-true since it still persists in the claim that the law is specifically aimed at homosexuality. (The Guardian is of course doing its own propagandizing when it refers to “information”). This is characteristic of how the Guardian does propaganda. A misleading heading is corrected in the text – so they can’t be accused of lying. But, as they know full well, many people will just see the headline.

The Guardian article also contains unsourced claims about Chechnya.

The pre-occupation of some in the West with what happens in Russia is imperialist in tone. It is rather banal to simply believe that your values (values which have only become prevalent in the West in the last 20 years) are absolute and should be imposed everywhere.

Russia has a law which permits its courts to overrule judgements of international courts when those judgements contradict the principle of the supremacy of its own constitution. So; this European Court of Human Rights ruling may not go very far. (Except perhaps to make the Russians consider their membership of that treaty).

Guardian propaganda (102)

The Guardian was predictably enough quick off the mark to produce the anti-Russia propaganda that Russian provocateur Alexei Navalny was aiming for by holding an illegal rally in Moscow.

Russia – a country in which the President and lower chamber of Parliament are elected under constitutional elections monitored in the past by the OSCE – has laws relating to rallies. Organisers of rallies have to seek permission from the authorities. If they hold a rally in an area for which permission has not been granted people who attend the rally can be arrested. There is a penalty for breaking this law.

Alexei Navalny is the leader of a political movement in Russia which is opposed to the current leadership. He is noted for holding illegal and unsanctioned rallies. It is likely he does this in order to produce images of himself and others being arrested – which suits his platform. The Guardian duly obliges.

In this latest incident and the associated ‘coverage’ in the Guardian the Guardian informs its readers that Navalny represents a “minority” in Russia. According to a poll by the Russian Levada polling institute he has the support of around 2% of the population. It may be therefore be quite a small “minority”. (Navalny is a nationalist figure rather than a classic ‘pro-Western’ liberal. His main platform appears to be to be opposed to the “crooks” in United Russia).

The Guardian article also informs its readers:

During the previous rally on 26 March, more than 1,000 people were detained in Moscow alone, including the Guardian journalist Alec Luhn. Most were released after a few hours, but some were given 15-day jail sentences, including Navalny.

A few people have been given more serious jail terms, with one protester sentenced to 18 months in what appears to be an attempt to use random repression to deter people from protesting.

There is no source and no factual basis for this claim at all. We should know we are in the realm of propaganda and “interfering in elections” here. Contrary to the claim about “randomness” made here Russia has a system of laws. A sentence of 18 months could not have been given simply for attendance at an illegal rally. There is a law which makes repeated breach of this law punishable by a long jail sentence. It is possible that this was the case with this 18 month sentence. However; the penalty for a first breach appears to be 15 days. [1] The information here is wrong and also misleadingly creates the impression that Russian courts just give random sentences. The author of this piece is based in Moscow and will know that he is misleading people.

The piece also explains:

The protest comes as Russia enters an election cycle, with a vote due next March expected to give Putin six more years in the Kremlin. Navalny, a lawyer turned anti-corruption campaigner, has announced his intention to stand, though few expect him to be allowed on to the ballot.

This is entirely misleading. It gives the impression that whether or not Navalny will be “allowed to stand” will be down to an arbitrary decision by the authorities. In fact Navalny has been convicted in Russia of corruption (a fact missing from this article). This article on RT explains that under Russian law because he is still serving a suspended sentence Navalny will not be permitted under Russian law to stand. A result of the rule of law is presented here as an act of arbitrary authority. This of course feeds into the narrative of an ‘oppressive, authoritarian regime’ which large sections of the Western press wish to tell. But is is fake. It is of course possible to argue that Russian law is applied somewhat selectively and in favour of the authorities. But this piece doesn’t attempt that. It simply misleads.

This Guardian article is written by Shaun Walker – one of the Guardian’s resident propaganda writers based in Moscow. Mr Walker is lying and demonstrably so. This is our discussion of an example of Mr Walker’s propaganda on the situation in Ukraine.

Mr Walker may have written this propaganda because he knows that this is what the Guardian wants and he, Mr Walker, wants to keep his job. Quite why the Guardian does this is not 100% clear. Most of the Western press is owned by finance capital. Finance capital has a strong motive to overturn the current nationalist system of rule in Russia – with its irritating restrictions on inward foreign investment. It is hardly surprising then that the Western press is used in a propaganda role to undermine that nationalist system of rule. But the Guardian is a slightly curious case. It is owned by a Trust which is simply in the business of producing the Guardian. With the Guardian it appears to be something personal and ideological. They hate “Putin”. It may be because Putin’s Russia is not one which is especially favourable to the culture of hedonism, gender reassignment, “marriage equality” etc. which seems to have become the main credo of the kind of liberal media classes who work at the Guardian.

Finally; before falling for the story here about “Kremlin repression” – don’t forget that the UK has pretty strict laws about what happens in public spaces. (Some of which is critiqued by the Manifesto Club here).  Including legislation which permits local authorities to ban groups of 2 or more people gathering in a space. We could ask why the Guardian is so keen to produce these pieces of theatre about Russia but has relatively little to say about the situation in the UK.

Notes

1. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/12/russia-peaceful-activist-sentenced-under-repressive-new-law-must-be-released/

Guardian propaganda (101)

One of the Guardian’s propaganda writers in Moscow has been discharged by a court after attending an illegal rally.

Mr Luhn was arrested in March when he attended an illegal rally in Moscow – held by convicted fraudster Alexei Navalny. Alexei Navalny is one of those public figures in Russia who command fractional support inside Russia but are touted by the Western media as the “opposition” to “Putin”.

In Russia rallies have to be sanctioned in advance by the authorities – or they are illegal.

Mr Luhn was arrested at the illegal rally in March and was released shortly afterwards. [1]

The Guardian report on Mr Luhn having his charges dropped is a nice example of how the Guardian (and other Western media) spin these stories. Nothing in the story is as it stands factually untrue. But by placing the weight in various ways, emphasising aspects, omitting other facts and so on they manage as always to create the story they want to tell. Here, the subheadline for the report is “Alec Luhn was detained by police while covering a protest in Moscow organised by opposition politician Alexei Navalny” –  which fits nicely with the idea of an outrageous arrest at a legitimate political rally. Later in the article they admit that the rally was illegal. (In fact the authorities offered alternative locations which were declined by the rally organisers, though these, admittedly were probably in the suburbs and would have denied them the publicity they are seeking). [1] So; the fact is there but by introducing it only as a detail half-way down the article after the clarion call headline has already had its impact the propaganda writers manage to shift the story from facts to the creative narrative they want to tell. This is characteristic.

They also claim that people at this rally were arrested “at random”. Which sounds quite sinister. But is in fact the police arresting large numbers of people who were breaking the law. In this article at least the Guardian does not mention that the authorities accused the rally organisers of deliberately involving teenagers in their illegal protest. [1] Or that a policeman was badly injured. [1] There are of course always two sides to a story  – but we can be sure that when it comes to Russia and the Guardian 90% of the time we will only get one.

Notes

1. https://www.rt.com/news/382342-opposition-protest-russia-police/

Guardian propaganda on Russia example (100)

This is a particularly nice piece of Guardian anti-Russia propaganda. It is in an article about Putin’s comments at a business forum in St. Petersburg:

“If the information about the Democratic party favouring Clinton was true, is it really important who leaked it?” he [Putin] asked, echoing his previous statements on Russian hacking.

That it (the DNC hacks) was “Russian hacking” is of course assumed by the Guardian. Even in a piece when, according to the Guardian, the Russian President said that the hacking was not the work of Russian intelligence the Guardian can’t even manage the basic journalistic formality of presenting the view of Western intelligence as just that – a view (or claim). This is a tiny but endlessly repeated example of how the Guardian propagandaises for the American deep state. What they claim is de facto “true”. What Putin says is false even as he says it.

What is strange about the Guardian’s automatic echoing of US State Department and intelligence briefings is that they don’t need to do it. There is nothing in the rulebook of journalism which says you can’t take a view. They could certainly report on the claims made by each side in a balanced way (the reportage bit) and then make it very clear that they believed the weight of evidence lies on one side. But the challenge perhaps is that the second part of this would involve journalistic investigation – and they either don’t have the will or perhaps they lack the resources to do this. So; they just skip the investigation and muddle up the reportage (who said what) and what they present as objective facts (as in the object exists in reality) in an attempt to gloss over the lack of investigation. This creates the kind of narrative style of ‘journalism’ we get in the West; 90% made up narrative and 10% facts. This approach also allows RT to mischievously start ‘Twitter’ posts with the hashtag #NoFactsGiven. If the Guardian  doesn’t have the will or the resources to do the investigation part then good journalism should tell them they should simply stick to the reportage and leave the claims for an opinion column. It is bad faith to present the claims of a single partisan source as established news fact. And, ironically, it is this bad faith which creates the space in which RT can go #NoFactsGiven.

We can add that the report concerns the Russian President taking questions at an open forum in Russia from a US anchor – on a wide range of challenging topics. We may have to wait a while for the US or UK Presidents to be so open.

 

More anti-Russia propaganda in the Guardian

It is hard work keeping up with the endless stream of dishonest anti-Russia articles in the Guardian.

This one is fairly typical fare. Actually it is credited to AFP (a media outlet part-owned by the French government).

It is about an apparent protest and some arrests in Moscow. Typically, the main source for the article appears to be a special interest group. The paper does not appear to have checked the story with the Moscow authorities despite having at least one (possibly more) journalists based in Moscow.

Comments:

i. Faking it 

The headline talks about a “monitor” as the source of the story. That sounds credible. Who do they mean? A UN body perhaps? No – it turns out they mean a Russian web site dedicated to tracking arrests during protests. (Incidentally that such web sites exist is not particularly consistent with the narrative line about the “Kremlin controlled media environment in Russia”. But anyway). I.e the sole source for the story is a pressure group.

ii. Claims become real

This is absolutely normal for this kind of propaganda:

Dadin, 35, was jailed in December 2015 for the supposed crime of holding repeated peaceful demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin’s rule without official permission.

In a letter to his wife smuggled out from prison in November, Dadin alleged he had been tortured behind bars, as well as threatened with rape and murder.

His allegations exploded into the public eye, shining a spotlight on abuse that forced the Kremlin to pay attention.

Ildar Dadin did indeed claim that he had been abused in custody. Notice however that in this text the Guardian simply claims that the abuse took place. A claim by an opposition figure is immediately elevated to the level of truth. Russian media reports that a prison service investigation into these claims found them to be not true. [1]

iii. Shameless lying:

Dadin, 35, was jailed in December 2015 for the supposed crime of holding repeated peaceful demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin’s rule without official permission.

No such crime exists on the statute book in Russia and Ildar Dadin was not prosecuted for this. He could not have been. This is made up. There are laws in Russia which require that public rallies be authorised. In this case Mr Dadin was imprisoned for repeatedly breaking these rules (under a law which permits imprisonment in cases of repeat offences). [2] The Guardian is simply making up a story here. The offence was not “supposed”. It is a real offense on the statute books in Russia. And it has nothing to do with the content of the demonstrations (“against Putin”); the offence concerns unsanctioned rallies. The Guardian can certainly criticize these laws from its liberal perspective. But this account is just fiction.

iv. One law for them

In the UK there are very draconian powers which control what people can do in public spaces known as Public Space Protection Orders. [3] Different countries have different laws. The Guardian’s obsession with criticizing the situation in Russia far more than it does the situation in the UK is strange. For example the Guardian writes:

In 2014 Russia controversially introduced criminal charges for those who breach rules at protest rallies twice or more in a period of 180 days.

That is indeed the law under which Mr Dadin was jailed. But who decides it is “controversial”? Again; this strange spectre of the Western liberal class assuming it has the right to criticise what happens in Russia. A right they hold as fast to as they hold to the idea that if Russia comments on what happens in the West that is an outrageous example of “interference” etc.

What lies at the base of this distorted narrative on Russia – indeed this cheap hatred of Russia? It seems that they hate Russia (a hatred they personalise onto “Putin”) because it is not like them. But this betrays some strange kind of insecurity about their own values. Are they really the democrats they claim to be? If they were they might admit that Putin is democratically elected and is widely popular in Russia. It looks like the Guardian cannot admit that democracy can ever produce anything other than the liberal, hedonistic, materialistic values they hold so dear. But this means that they aren’t in the end really democrats at all.

Notes

1. RT

2. Amnesty International

3. Manifesto Club