Sunday, February 27, 2022

Spectacle, Simulation and Sycophancy in the Liberal Imperialist West

Uncritical sycophancy towards the United States and its geopolitical interests is not journalism. If this is what you do, reproduce the narrative and world perspective of America, and call it ‘journalism,’ you are a fraud. At the best of times, Canadian media is a sleaze-den of nihilist cretins, stepping over one another to grovel before existing power in society and more acutely tap into the precise kind of stupid which gets them paid to express it. The conflict in Ukraine, however, has driven this gibbering heap into the most absurd and incredible frenzy. The fearsome eastern man has come to take their homes and brutalize their families, or what amounts to the same, the barbarian slav threatens and menaces a kind of affluent white herrenvolk polity which, in that respect, resembles their own settler-state. This is what Ukraine stands for right now, and it is why it is both the apex of international white supremacist militant organization, and the cause celebre of the Western chattering classes. This cacophonous melange of idiots and bumpkins is convulsed and howling for blood.

The worst of the freaks, bobbleheads and dummies who populate Canada’s mediasphere is Justin Ling, a shambling opportunist lich, a sniveling, grovelling apologist and propagandist for existing state power in Canada as an imperialist vassal state. A grown up Randall J. Weems from the show Recess tattletale. A NARC bottom-feeder having floated up from the depths of the ghouls and cretins at the Halifax Security Forum. Every form of liberal imperialism and chauvinist opportunism which has presented itself in the past decade, that slithering Iago, Ling, has thrown himself into it. He cheerled for Al Qaeda in Syria, he endorsed the US-orchestrated coup against Evo Morales and its comprador fascist ringleader Jean Áñez, and, most importantly, he has made a career out of deflecting and running interference against legitimate criticism of Canadian Liberal Deputy Prime-Minister Chystia Freeland and her Nazi-collaborationist heritage and orientation.

It is important, especially for the present context, to emphasize the power which Chrystia Freeland exercises over the Government and its foreign policy. The Liberal’s foreign policy is effectively decided by Freeland by fiat, and exercised, right now, by Melanie Joly. This is important because the extent to which the Liberal Government has endorsed extremely reactionary historical narratives promoted by a far right wing Ukrainian diaspora in Canada has been a matter of intense domestic controversy for years. While there are many parts to this story, it is perhaps best captured by a 2017 story from the Ottawa Citizen’s David Pugliese, “Chrystia Freeland’s granddadwas indeed a Nazi collaborator – so much for Russiandisinformation.” As Pugliese noted, Freeland's grandfather Michael Chomiak "fled with his Nazi colleages as the Russians advanced into Poland." For description of the content of Chomiak’s publication, Pugliese cites the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum: "soliciting Ukrainian support for the German cause," "silencing the mass killing of Jews in Galicia" and "official Nazi propaganda." This story was journalism. It challenged power and asserted truth. That is journalism.

Well, of course Ling reviled from it immediately, and has vociferously ever since. It told inconvenient truths about one of the most prominent boots on Ling’s licking roster. Exposure of such truths is anathema to the function of journalism as Ling understand it: to reproduce the approved and official view of state power, as inviolable truth, and never to subject even a single utterance of extant political power to even the slightest breeze of scrutiny. To Ling, highlighting the family history of Freeland is ‘Russian disinformation.’ Entirely true, relevant to the circumstances, so how is it possibly ‘disinformation’? Simple. This information has not been approved by the official and approved approval agencies of the imperialist states – the Atlantic Council, DFRLab, Bellingcat, a whole universe of liberal imperialist NGOs whose sole purpose is to police fidelity to the geostrategic objectives of the United States and NATO. To ‘journalists’ like Ling, the thing asserted as truth by this panoply of agencies is truth, irrespective of its objective, empirical validity, or lack thereof. Ling cheerled for Al-Qaeda because these bodies told him to, he held the US-orchestrated coup against Evo Morales legitimate because these bodies instructed him this to be the case, and he calls things like pointing out observable facts about the world situation and its players and characters ‘disinformation,’ even when they are true, if they offend the state-sanctioned narrative of truth he subscribes to.

This story is well worth remembering today, as the Liberal Government is in a desperate, otherwise inscrutable frenzy to provoke and exacerbate war in Eastern Europe. In these circumstances, the erroneous deployment of ‘disinformation’ is itself driven out of all proportion, and applied to any constellation of facts which does not directly serve the war effort of NATO. To bobble-heads like Ling, ensconced in their platform bunkers, every single thing asserted by the US and its immediate vassal states is de facto truth, and everything and anything which contradicts such assertions is de facto false. The most wild and unbelievable of assertions are made concerning the conflict in Ukraine, and barely any of such assertions are subject to any criticism or scrutiny whatsoever, so long as it accords with NATO dictates. It is not merely that this view, call it ‘Ling-brain-on-war,’ I guess, merely censors competing accounts, but it moreover mass produces untruth, a vast geyser of demonstrably false horseshit which is permitted to spew on the largest communications mouthpieces, going unchecked solely in virtue of it being convenient in the moment of a jingoistic push for war.

On February 26, on CBC News, host Natasha Fatah conducted a lengthy interview with a Ukrainian partisan in Canada collecting money to send weapons to Western Ukraine. This ‘interview’ was incredible for both its length and the extent to which it merely provided a platform for this Ukrainian partisan to extol the virtues of Ukrainian militarism and implore NATO to put boots on the ground in Ukraine. Each question from Fatah was a soft-ball ‘yes, aren’t they brave,’ ‘so you say you would like boots on the ground?’ This is a fundamental failure of journalism, an abject failure. A nightmare of non-journalism, for which Ms. Fatah should be profoundly ashamed.

The CBC has been the object of ridicule for its pro-war, pro-militarist bias for years. Habitually, over and over, paid advocates for weapons companies like General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon, and right wing ghouls like John Bolton, are platformed for their ‘expertise’ on foreign affairs. This bias is a consequence of the rabid liberal imperialism of the affluent white management-editorial caste which has monopolized the CBC – primary Brodie Fenlon, Paul Hambleton and Chuck Thompson – to the exclusion of all other perspectives. It is sad, and wild, however, to see someone like Fatah so compliantly and cheaply used as a backdrop for open and unvarnished pro-war and pro-NATO propaganda. And that is the point with this farcical circus in Canadian media, are they not ashamed of being so pliant and malleable? Are they not mortified at being stenographers and mouthpieces for whatever orientation is handed down to them?

Canada’s elder statesman pundit Andrew Coyne has thrown himself behind the Ukrainian cause with enthusiasm. On Saturday, Coyne retweeted the SNL cold-opening singing jingo songs in Ukrainian peasant garb. How can they not itch slathered in their own absurdity? Coyne presents himself as the kind of wisened and considered commentator whose leatherbound tomes would occupy the bookshelves of the Laurentian literati for a decade or two. But there could be no more corrosive force to this presentation than the jingoistic oaf fervour he presently seized by.

Let us review what is really significant in this instance. In 2014 the US orchestrated a coup against the democratically elected leader of Ukraine, the intentions of which were to economically integrate the territory of Ukraine into the US sphere. This was a profoundly hostile and belligerent act. One of the consequences of this act was to strand and maroon an overwhelmingly culturally, ethnically and linguistically Russian people in the east in a country they no longer understood or felt wanted in. The deposed President, indeed, was from Donetsk. Independence in these regions was, in fact, immediately subject to a referendum. In the aftermath of the pro-US 2014 coup, the Donbas region, just as Crimea did, voted overwhelmingly for independence, with an overwhelming turnout. But whereas Russia was, at the time, content to suffer the blowback for recognizing the results of Crimea’s referendum, it urged the Donbas region to work towards its implementation. Over the past eight years, the US and its local proxies in first the Poroshenko Government, then the Zelensky Government, have allowed Neo-Nazi battalions in the east to harass, shell, menace and ethnically persecute these regions. Fifteen thousand people have died in the Donbas region between 2014 and 2022. The US, and Canada, have consistently provided military aid to these Ukrainian paramilitaries, including the explicitly Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. The so-called Minsk Agreements called upon Ukraine to recognize the particularities of these eastern regions, allow for their self-government, to withdraw its paramilitaries from around these regions, and to implement a program of economic recovery. None of this was done. The opposite was done. In January and February of 2021, Ukrainian paramilitaries ramped up their persecution of these regions, in concert with the United States, as a pretext for war.

So when the Western media now cries crocodile tears and portrays the Ukrainians as innocent lambs, or noble warriors, unblemished by moral taint, you should spit it at their feet. A band of robber barons and their American patrons stole Ukraine in the dead of night, and now want the world to forget it and beat the war drums with them. The post-coup Governments could have committed to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, and could have pursued a path of peace with and development for the eastern regions, and they did not. Rather they kept them locked up in the closet, shelled every day, beaten like dogs, for eight long years, and something, unfortunately, was going to break.

This conflict is obscured, not illuminated, by the pious jingoism of the liberal imperialist dummies draped from head to foot in blue and yellow. The massive and enduring deficit of historical knowledge which their shabby sabre-rattling requires is a bumbling and pathetic insult to what this situation requires in terms of explication and articulation towards de-escalation and peace.

Canada is set up to fail in this instance. Our foreign policy is essentially determined, in the last instance, by a virulent Ukrainian fascist, Chrystia Freeland. And, make no mistake, Chrystia Freeland is a fascist, and has acted as one throughout the world during her tenure. And our media is so anemic, stupid and cultivated to produce even a modicum of critical analysis. As Jay Watts has noted, the only possible outcome is for Canada’s undersized influence on the world stage to be severely apparent and ridiculous. Nobody wants this war more than Canada, not even America. We are the yipping, rabid attack dog at America’s heel under Trudeau and Freeland, no less than we would have been under any of the various pasty white gentlemen who vie for the Conservative leadership. But that makes it even more important to highlight how and why it is that Canada, of all places, is baying for blood and desperate to inaugurate World War Three.

Nobody wants war and conflict, but permitting for only the monological expression of a farcical, one-sided and absurd pro-Ukrainian narrative, rather than doing anything to alleviate the conflict, in fact profoundly exacerbates and pours fuel on the fire. No, Western Ukrainians are not deserving of Russian occupation, and their legitimate interests in self-determination ought to be respected. So, too, should the legitimate interests of the eastern regions of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk in self-determination be respected. And, yes, the entirely legitimate and reasonable interests which Russia possesses in its own security and development, which the US has ever sought to trench on, ought to be respected. The one-sidedness of the debate right now is incredible. To suggest that the US and NATO are not benign, still less benevolent, entities gets one accused of being a Putin-lover. And yet the liberal imperialist bobble-heads, baying for blood, consider it totally normal and sane to cosplay as Ukrainian peasants and rehearse the Ukrainian blood and soil myth on primetime!

This entire situation is an excuse for the most affluent liberal shitheads to beat their emaciated little chests and feel pious for cheering for Nazi battalions. Don’t fear offence in rejecting this monological NATO narrative and its pious bobblehead policemen, because that is what actual journalism is, presenting facts which unsettle the powerful where and when you are. If there is to be any chance at a peaceful resolution of the conflict, it will come from ravenously and mercilessly attacking this kind of sycophancy for officialdom.

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