They seem to come in waves. Every time I think there might be a respite in the “Russia is up to something evil narrative,” here comes another story of how Putin and those dastardly Ruskies are undermining America’s peaceful paradise from the basement of the Kremlin. It seems Putin can always spare time away from overseeing his own hellhole country to obsess about how to screw with the U.S.
I’ve noted the phases in which anti-Russia propaganda has tended to skyrocket. It started to get serious after Putin’s speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. The fact that Putin called out Washington’s hypocrisy and skulduggery in world affairs really got the U.S. political class’s knickers in a knot. The following year, Hillary Clinton, during her first failed run for the presidency, said that Putin had no soul because he’d been a KGB agent. John McCain, who had a front row seat to Putin’s speech, dismissed Putin as simply a corrupt KGB autocrat during his failed 2008 presidential run. McCain also had neocon Russia-hater Robert Kagan on board as a foreign policy adviser to his campaign.
There was another upswing of anti-Russia propaganda toward the end of 2013. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that some influential and self-important people in the U.S. had decided that Putin was getting too much good PR at the time: the diplomatic success of getting Syrian president Assad to give up his chemical weapons to avert any excuse for an attack from western powers, his oped published in the New York Times which was generally well-received by readers, the upcoming Sochi Olympics, etc.
This pattern of good will on behalf of Russia and its leadership apparently needed to be brought to a screeching halt. Suddenly all of the western media in lockstep started blowing up a story about a law in Russia prohibiting “homosexual propaganda” to minors. The fact that so many of the politicians and public officials who expressed their outrage at this law had a history of not saying boo about our “ally” Saudi Arabia’s habit of publicly beheading homosexuals on a regular basis (in addition to other “crimes” that would be considered minor transgressions in the west) proved that these people didn’t care one whit about the plight of homosexuals in Russia or anywhere else, but were using this as a convenient political weapon with which to beat on Russia.
Right after the Sochi Olympics, of course, is when the crisis in Ukraine – abetted by Washington – really intensified. The narrative weaved by the US/UK media was one in which Putin was the uber-villain who just woke up one day and decided to “invade” Crimea and destabilize the country on his border. Some of these attempts by the media to “prove” that Russian military forces had invaded Ukraine were debunked within days of publication. The MSM – led by the lionized NYT – also continually repeated false accusations by the State Department and US military officials of a Russian invasion or imminent invasion.
And then there was the Russiagate shitshow that we have been subjected to since 2016.
But the mainstream corporate media and the political class it represents just cannot let go of the anti-Russia narrative, no matter how many times these stories fall apart. A couple of weeks ago, it was the assertion from unnamed sources that Russia had paid bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, reported on by NYT and breathlessly repeated by Washington Post and other outlets. This story, too, has been thoroughly debunked by Scott Ritter, Barbara Boland, and Gareth Porter, among others.
The Russophobes, however, are still not deterred. Now there are reports that the Russian baddies are trying to steal research on a potential Covid vaccine from western countries. This is ridiculous on its face due to the fact that Russia has now gone into human trials for their own vaccine, so there is absolutely no reason for them to steal anything from anyone.
I’m beginning to wonder if the staff at the NYT and other major outlets are having an actual contest to see who can write the most absurd stories about Russia and still be able to walk around in pubic without having a pie thrown in their face.