The United States, its NATO allies, and their partners in corporate media are engaging in an unprecedented war propaganda effort. Their goal is to get and maintain public support for their actions against Russia which are playing out in Ukraine. The messaging is constant and isn’t at all subtle. One cannot go online for any purpose without seeing exhortations to help Ukrainian children, buy products colored in blue and yellow, or somehow “stand with Ukraine.”
What passes for news about Ukraine is usually little more than anti-Russian screeds, sourced by “anonymous officials” eager to reveal claims that Vladimir Putin has untold billions of dollars stashed away, or that Russians are protesting, refusing to fight, or fleeing their country. In these stories Putin has been fooled by his aides, is purging the intelligence apparatus and is either depressed or in fits of rage, depending on the source of the anti-Putin invective. We are told that the Russian economy is crumbling, every atrocity is committed by Russians only, and that Ukraine’s president Volodomyr Zelensky is a perfect human being. Documented proof that he has a fortune in offshore accounts has been disappeared by the media which once reported on these activities.
Joe Biden and his foreign policy team of incompetent ideologues hope to convince Americans to accept food shortages, rising gas prices, and the risk of a hot war. The steady diet of dangerous nonsense is a necessity for them. The game is up if the people begin to question what they are being told.
Then again, while there may not be mass rejection of the Ukraine narrative there is certainly a mass rejection of Biden himself. The latest opinion poll shows him with a very low 33% approval rating. The average person may not be well versed in the history of U.S. policy towards Russia, but they know when things don’t add up and they know that the president is not a well man. Rambling, incoherent speeches punctuated by shouts of “war criminal” and “genocide” don’t cut it when working people can barely afford to put gas in the tank. We are left with a mass gaslighting effort that has created the desired effect of generating fear and or hatred towards Russia, but that hasn’t increased satisfaction about the country’s direction.
Biden’s actions aren’t very surprising. He was the Ukraine point person after the Barack Obama coup in 2014. He was always one of the most hawkish democrats and came into the presidency with Antony Blinken, Victoria Nuland and the same cast of characters who first violated Ukraine’s sovereignty. He hoped to instigate Russia and kill the NordStreamII pipeline and sanction Russia. He didn’t expect the full incursion that he spent months saying would happen.
Now he is hoisted on his own petard, trying to bully other nations into condemning Russia when it isn’t in their interests to do so, and causing world wide suffering in a futile effort to destroy Russia’s economy. Sanctions against Russia have increased fuel prices all over the world. Disruptions in wheat production will reduce Ukraine’s harvest and decrease supplies in places that had no connection with this ginned up conflict. The anti-Russian propaganda is working but the pro-Biden effort is not, hence the public disapproval.
Millions of Americans are now convinced that Putin is evil and Zelensky is good, but they still have doubts about their own president. The corporate media pro-Biden propaganda said that he was the most progressive president since Franklin Roosevelt and had cut child poverty in half. Now the child tax credit is gone, Build Back Better is up in the air, and promises to relieve student loan debt are a distant memory. Biden and his team think that spin about “Putin’s price hikes” will help to minimize political damage but the polls are an indication of a sour national mood.
Biden is mistaken if he thinks that Putin hatred is enough to save his and the democratic party’s political fortunes. They will sink or swim based on how well they meet needs here at home. Right now, public money that we’re told can’t be used for a child tax credit is going to the military industrial complex to “save” Ukraine.
What Ukrainian people need are good faith peace talks to end their suffering. The American people need public money to stay here at home. It should not be sent overseas to fight a war meant to fulfill neocon fantasies about breaking up Russia. Biden may have thought that Putin had nothing but “nuclear weapons and oil wells” but he is wrong, and the time will come when the propaganda is so threadbare that it doesn’t elicit the desired reactions. Biden and his people may think they can ride the Russia hatred to ensure public buy-in, but the odds are not in their favor.
-Margaret Kimberley is the author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents . Her work can also be found at patreon.com/margaretkimberley and on Twitter @freedomrideblog . Ms. Kimberley can be reached via email at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com