Jack Worthington's Social & Investment Commentaries

Sifting Through the CIA Propaganda Machine…5 Key, Unsettling Things Every American Should Know About Ukraine, and Aren’t Hearing in the Mainstream Media:

Posted in Investment & Social Commentaries by Jack Worthington on March 5, 2014

Sifting Through the CIA Propaganda Machine…5 Key, Unsettling Things Every American Should Know About Ukraine, and Aren’t Hearing in the Mainstream Media

 

First, some quick, additional personal background:  Since 2002 I’ve spent considerable, intermittent time in Kiev, South, and Southeastern Ukraine as a mergers and acquisitions investment banker.  In that role, I’ve advised global private equity investment firms and large companies on their acquisitions in non-US markets.  I’ve focused on this type of work since graduation from business school in 1993, with a stint running the 9-country Asia Pacific region for one of America’s oldest companies.  I’ve lived the majority of my adult life outside the US (8 countries, 4 continents since 1987).  I’ve spent a considerable amount of that time working in global emerging markets like Ukraine, and my back is scarred by professional and personal experience in many parts of the world…I was an early China investment banker before China was on the radar screen of most Westerners…many mistakes, many eye-opening learning experiences to share.  In Ukraine, I was retained by one of the world’s largest companies to educate them on the Ukrainian political and business environment, and lead their effort to joint venture with a Ukrainian oligarch and major industrial company in Ukraine on a government privatisation.  I was in Kiev in the immediate days prior to the Orange Revolution.  I’ve seen much there.

 

There aren’t that many countries in the key emerging or developed markets of our world where I have not at least evaluated a business deal, if not worked hand-in-hand with locals there.

 

5 key, unsettling things “Joe the Plumber” and investors need to know about the Ukrainian situation:

 

  1. American propaganda is global and powerful:  Every government appears to engage in some type of covert propaganda activities meant to influence the domestic citizenry to accept the viewpoint of the executive branch…primarily.  Sometimes the propaganda / false stories are meant to influence foreign investors, et al.  The US CIA runs the world’s most powerful propaganda machine through the US mainstream media, “Operation Mockingbird” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird .  Most of the major US mainstream media outlets employ some number of CIA-influenced journalists whose purpose is to plant government propaganda stories that suit their purpose and sway public opinion.  Prior to the Church Committee investigations in the 1970’s, these journalists were on the payroll of the CIA.  Subsequent to those investigations and public outcry, George H.W. Bush “reformed” the process, and journalist plants are no longer paid directly by the CIA, but they are still there.  Fact.  Google it.  American media have tremendous global reach and influence, and the CIA uses those organizations to plant and nurture sometimes entirely false narratives which support their objectives.  The Ukraine situation is one of those.  It is a false narrative, which appears to be driven by old Cold Warriors in the US federal bureaucracy, and the Barack Obama / John Kerry crew who have been publicly humiliated on the world stage once too often by Vlad Putin, and want payback, regardless of the cost to world peace and the American people.  Europeans are not following the US with calls for sanctions or economic warfare against Russia…for good reason…Europeans are not naive re: propaganda in general, and can smell it a mile away.

  2. Faceless bureaucrats really run the show:  Within an economically developed country like the US, the key, and perhaps most powerful drivers of policy are not elected politicians, but the mid-level, faceless, grey-suited government employees who have been at their posts for 20-30 years in arcane departments and are not subject to removal during election cycles.  They keep pumping out their viewpoints, reports, etc…to whomever occupies the public offices, and admonishing the facemen / women to comply or look foolish / uninformed.  Therefore, we get the same old stories year after year from our elected representatives.  In the US, many of those grey suits are leftovers from the Cold War and earn their paycheck by pumping out Cold War nonsense…unable to make the leap to a new paradigm.  Russia is not the Soviet Union and certainly not a communist ideological opponent hell-bent on spreading communism globally.  Many faceless, unaccountable federal bureaucrats, and their backers in the military-industrial complex, earn their keep by inventing enemies, instilling fear in politicians, and playing war games against those enemies.  I believe this same phenomenon in Russia is probably behind George Friedman’s (Stratfor) position that attacks from Western Europe over the centuries still drive the Russian geopolitical mindset…an unhelpful relic from the past which hamstrings our future.

  3. Very high probability that the Ukraine crisis is our fault…a botched, US-led coup meant to discredit Vlad Putin personally:  Vlad has embarrassed Barack Obama and John Kerry many times on the world stage, and it appears this is their orchestrated payback event.  They apparently planned to back moderate Vitaly Klitschko, however, similar to Libya and Syria, violent, extremist elements hijacked the coup, and now appear to have significant influence over the new putsch government’s policies, some being extreme anti-ethnic Russian policies, at gunpoint, beginning Day 1…driving about any sane Russian speaker in Eastern Ukraine towards the safety of Mother Russia, which this region was originally part of…the unintended consequences of a botched US-led coup.  The CIA propaganda machine is in overdrive, driving the false narrative that Russia has aggressively invaded Ukraine, omitting the fact that Russia is allowed by agreement to keep a certain number of military personnel in Crimea, which they have not surpassed.  You will notice that there are almost zero dissenting opinions in the major US / Western media outlets.  Let’s be clear:  By any credible democratic standard, there was an illegal, violent transfer of power in Ukraine, removing a leader installed via democratic, free-and-fair elections.  This leader is still alive and has not abdicated his position as President.  Indisputable facts.  The man may have committed a number of crimes, but, in a nation of laws, the democratic mechanisms to remove him, evaluate his crimes, and apply justice, are elections and the courts of law.  The Obama administration, and any foreign leader or journalist that supports it, is establishing a frightening precedent here…If we don’t like our elected representatives and suspect criminality in their behaviour, it is perfectly acceptable to ignore the rule of law and violently remove that leader from office.  The rationale for removing entrenched dictators in Egypt, Libya, and Syria is in no way similar to the situation in Ukraine.  The Obama administration, and the journalists that support it, are on the wrong side of democratic institutions in this situation, and I’m in awe of the sheer power of the US propaganda machine at work.

  4. Russia is not the Soviet Union or a serious US ideological opponent hell-bent on spreading communism globally, run by an egomaniacal thug and international villain, whose people are desperately trying to remove from power:  False propaganda narrative / emotional undercurrent meant to galvanize domestic American support for Obama’s personal vendetta against Vlad Putin.  US Republicans and Democrats are more ideologically divided than moderate Americans and Russians.  Most of today’s Russians would like to be a major, global economic power, leveraging the former Soviet empire to achieve primarily economic objectives as a counterweight to US hegemony.  China has similar objectives, and the European Union was formed in part as a counter-weight to US hegemony.  Those objectives do not make the Russians, Chinese, and Europeans geo-political enemies of Americans.  They are economic competitors…fierce competitors at times, but not enemies.  We need to ditch the anti-Russia, anti-China, anti-whomever rhetoric and learn to cohabitate in a multi-polar world…quickly.  We are not making friends in this world, and are making enemies quickly enough via NSA spying on allies, screw-ups in the Middle East, etc…  The aggressive anti-Russia rhetoric of US politicians is dragging the US back into a needless Cold (hot?) War with the Russian people.  Of course Vlad Putin is opposed by some in Russia and elsewhere, just like Obama and every American President before him, but the majority of Russians like Vlad Putin whether or not Americans do.  Europe will not follow us, or allow another Cold (hot?) War on their continent…compounded by serious energy economics at stake.  It’s easy for US bureaucrats to imagine a game of nuclear chess with missiles on someone else’s soil.  Won’t happen.  We’ll be isolated and embarrassed in this confrontation.  Europeans will see through this baloney…ultimately a direct threat to them in their own backyard.

  5. Russian retaliatory economic threats are credible and potentially catastrophic for the US…perhaps even beyond the impact of a nuclear exchange:  China is siding with Russia, against the US.  In other words, US politicians need to tone down the anti-Russia rhetoric immediately, or be willing to take personal, and public responsibility for the fallout.  China, Russia, and others are highly interested in replacing the US$ as the primary currency used in global trade, and are actively engaged in that effort.  Australia has now established direct currency trading with China, and an increasing number of Australia – China commodity trade deals are being settled in yuan rather than the US$.  If that trend gains serious momentum, life in the US will change dramatically and quickly for all Americans.  It’s foolish to kick Russia in the shins when their friends can profoundly harm us and are pursuing strategies that would.  Our best defense is to shore up the US$ and shut up.  It is not helpful in any way for high profile American politicians to call the Russian President, whoever it may be, denigrating names publicly, and reflective of the coarse, degenerated, reckless nature of Washington today.

 

JW

5 March 2014

NY,NY

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