Caitlin Johnstone

Analysing the two anti-Russia narratives released in time for the US-Russia summit

Just in time for the Helinski summit, a wave of anti-Russia sentiment has made it to the front pages. It’s as obvious as it is lazy.

 

 

In an article for The Nation dated July 11, the internationally renowned US-Russia relations expert Stephen F Cohen warned of possible attempts by peace-hating beltway stalwarts to sabotage the Helsinki peace talks between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin scheduled for last week.

“There is a long history of sabotaging or attempting to sabotage summits and other détente-like initiatives,” wrote Cohen. “Indeed, a few such attempts have been evident in recent months and more may lie ahead.”

And, lo and behold, right before the summit we saw two major news stories loudly promoting Russia hysteria, blasted onto the front pages on the very same day.

An indictment of 12 Russians has finally been issued by the Robert Mueller Special Counsel on various charges of conspiracy against the United States, an action the counsel has been sitting on for months. The indictment contains no evidence and will likely never be defended in any court of law; the correct response to which, in a post-Iraq invasion world, is always to dismiss the story and file it under “Noises US government officials sometimes make with their face holes.”


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The complete absence of evidence has, of course, failed to deter establishment propagandists and Capitol Hill war whores from loudly and aggressively advancing the galaxy-brained narrative that these new claims ought to either cancel peace talks between two nuclear superpowers, or at least make them much more hostile and contentious.

“President Trump must be willing to confront Putin from a position of strength and demonstrate that there will be a serious price to pay for his ongoing aggression towards the United States and democracies around the world,” said Senator John McCain in a statement, more determined than ever to start World War III. “If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward.”

“POTUS should either publicly demand extradition of these 12 Russian officials to stand trial or call off his summit,” tweeted Congressman Joe Kennedy III. “@realDonaldTrump should not lend legitimacy to an adversary that attacks our democracy.”

“There are now criminal indictments confirming #RussianHacking and efforts to disrupt the ballot box,” tweeted virulent Russiagater and California Representative Eric Swalwell. “If @realDonaldTrump is unwilling to confront Putin over this on Monday, he should cancel his trip.”

These and many other pleas against peace have been emanating at maximum volume from both sides of the political aisle in DC, and by both sides of the political divide in the mass media as well. Fox News has been just as busy promoting the hawkish demands of neoconservative Republicans like McCain and Lindsey Graham as outlets like MSNBC, and the Washington Post have been promoting the same demands from Democrats. As we learned in the lead up to the Iraq invasion, whenever you see all mass media outlets converge upon a single narrative, it’s time to crank your skepticism levels up to eleven.

On the same day as all this drama erupted, Dan Coats (who replaced the lying, Russophobic Russiagate architect James Clapper as America’s top intelligence officer at the beginning of this administration) declared that the warning signs of future Russian cyber attacks are akin to the warnings received prior to the September 11 attacks. Because if history has taught us anything, it’s that there’s absolutely nothing to worry about when US government officials start invoking 9/11 to warn us about a nation that had nothing to do with it.

The always sleazy New York Times reports the following:

The nation’s top intelligence officer said on Friday that the persistent danger of Russian cyberattacks today was akin to the warnings the United States had of stepped-up terror threats ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

 

That note of alarm sounded by Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, came on the same day that 12 Russian agents were indicted on charges of hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Mr. Coats said those indictments illustrated Moscow’s continuing strategy to undermine the United States’ democracy and erode its institutions.

 

“The warning lights are blinking red again,” Mr. Coats said as he cautioned of cyberthreats. “Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.”

 

Coming just days ahead of President Trump’s meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mr. Coats’s comments demonstrate the persistent divisions within the administration on Russia — and on how hard a line senior administration officials should take with Moscow on its cyberspace activities.So once again Trump is being pressured by all his political enemies, and even his ostensible allies in conservative media, to escalate tensions with Russia in a way that just so happens to advance intelligence community agendas against that nation which have been in place since the fall of the Soviet Union. And all of the evidence being used to substantiate the claims used to create that pressure? Why, they just so happen to come from that same intelligence community.

Stephen Cohen isn’t psychic, he’s just been watching trends and behavioural patterns in US-Russia relations for decades, and noticing the headlines in plutocrat-owned media about the approaching peace talks. These headlines include this one from London’s The Times, which I swear I am not making up: “Fears grow over prospect of Trump ‘peace deal’ with Putin”. That header gets better every time you read it; eventually you’re just flipping back and forth between the words “fear” and “peace” and marvelling at your skull’s remarkable ability to keep your head from exploding. Other brilliant headlines include “In meeting with Putin, experts fear Trump will give more than he gets” by the New York Times, “Trump hopes he and Putin will get along. Russia experts worry they will” by the Washington Post, and “Trump will finally meet with Putin next month. That should terrify you” by Mother Jones.

This notion that we should all be worried, terrified and literally shaking that two nuclear superpowers might ease tensions between one another is so Rick and Morty alternate dimension bass-ackwards it’s amazing that it’s been able to stick to the extent that it has, but that just shows you the power of mass media propaganda. The social engineers are so adept that self-identified progressives can be made to cheer for the FBI, self-identified nationalists can be made to cheer for neoconservative regime change agendas against Iran, and self-identified liberals can literally be made to fear a movement away from the possibility of nuclear holocaust.

 

Caitlin Johnstone

Caitlin Johnstone is a Melbourne-based journalist who specialises in American politics, finance and foreign affairs. You can find her on Twitter at @caitoz Her website at https://caitlinjohnstone.com/ Or on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/caitlinjohnstone Her new book ' Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers' is now available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Woke-Field-Guide-Utopia-Preppers/dp/064823455X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

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