Sneer & Smear: a close look at the gentle craft of media manipulation

by Mark Doran

As an arm of the corporate state — yes, it pretends not to be; but we know better, don’t we? — the BBC is naturally charged with certain vital propaganda tasks in the service of Western elite power.

For example, there is the need for that Western elite power to seem at all times legitimate, accountable and well-intentioned: the sanctifying, magical word used for this purpose is ‘democratic’; and once it is deployed, no fundamental disagreement is possible.
Then there is the need for that Western elite’s murderous military violence to seem necessary, just and proportionate — allowing the expropriation of foreign wealth and the progress of elite careers to continue apace without any kind of revolt from the mere taxpayer. To achieve the kind of make-over miracle by which aggression is painted as a combination of victimhood and altruism, a whole battery of beautifying propaganda terms is required, including ‘defence’, ‘response’, ‘intervention’, ‘human rights’, and ‘international law’.
Even with these rousing words conveniently to hand, however, our state broadcaster might still struggle to whip up majority support for yet another massively destructive foreign action so clearly motivated by a mixture of neoimperial greed and military Keynesianism; therefore our propagandists have developed a ‘slow burn’ approach which, acting over years and even decades, engineers an emphatically Manichean division of the world by way of the sustained, insidious use of manipulative vocabulary, tone and topic.
Which is what I want to discuss here — by way of a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of a recent BBC article that shows with outrageous clarity how it is that the BBC’s news-replacement services induce the public to think of the world in terms of ‘the international community’ on the one hand and ‘rogue states’ on the other; as a place where nations are controlled either by ‘governments’ (legitimate) or by ‘regimes’ (non-legitimate); and where leaders are either persons of talent, probity and gravitas who just want ‘what’s best for everyone’ … or murderous kleptocratic tyrants who are, by turns, terrifying and ludicrous.
How is it done? I’ll show you…

My text on this occasion is the long and disgraceful piece by BBC correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse that appeared on the ‘BBC News’ website on 5th March 2018. In the discussion that follows, I will present it one paragraph at a time, and then discuss my numbered objections in sequence. If you want to view the original excrescence in situ, you will find it here.)

Okay, here we go…

The day Putin cried [1]

[1] Yes, I’m starting with the article’s title. Before you accuse me of over-zealousness, remember that there is no quicker or more efficient way of getting a message across than by means of a manipulative title — not least because a non-trivial proportion of potential readers will see a title and not read beyond it: what good propagandist will want to waste the ‘drive-by’ viewer’s single moment of engagement…?
And what does this particular title achieve? Well, for a start, observe the elements of both wish-fulfilment and instruction. Since Russian President V. V. Putin is by some way the most enduring and successful non-compliant leader on the planet, the Western elites currently have no greater desire than to see him defeated, brought down, humbled, broken. He is, in short, a major hate-figure of Western power; this being so, anything at all that presents him in a state of sorrow, distress, misery or discomfiture will not only be pleasing to the elites, but also something they are happy for the public to share.
‘Crying’ is what we must all want Putin to do
[[Insert: Not many hours after I drafted that paragraph, Gabriel Gatehouse himself actually posted the following message on Twitter… Do I win a biscuit?]]

Moving on to the so-called ‘standfirst’ (UK journalism terminology):

As Russia prepares to elect Vladimir Putin for a fourth term as president [2] on 18 March, the BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse looks back at a revealing event [3] that took place at the start of his Kremlin career — when he was Russia’s acting president, running in his first presidential election.

Here too, we see things of significance placed at a prominent, preludial stage in the article’s structure:

Since human psychology tends to confuse ‘familiarity’ with ‘truth’, the essence of propaganda is repetition…

[2]As Russia prepares to elect Vladimir Putin for a fourth term as president…‘: is that not a strikingly odd way to refer to a forthcoming election? In our ‘normal’ reporting of Western politics, we might see a formulation like ‘As the US prepares to elect its 46th president…‘; but it would be impossible for a ‘mainstream’ media article to say ‘As the US prepares to elect John Q Puppet as president…‘, however strong that candidate’s position in the opinion polls. The reason, of course, is that a major part of the West’s electoral charade is the idea that ‘the important decisions’ are only made ‘on the day’ and ‘by the voters’ — and thus that not until ‘the will of the people’ is finally known will it be clear who will wield power. In reality, of course, this is twaddle (whoever may win the vote, power remains in the hands of the financial services sector); but the importance of the pretence can be divined from the way it is here withheld for purposes of manipulation: the standfirst’s opening line is meant to make you feel uneasy about Russia’s democracy — and to view a Putin election victory as illegitimate.
[3]A revealing event…’ As you will discover, it is nothing of the sort: these words are used to try and make you see things that aren’t there.
Now we move on to the text proper…

Russians rarely see their president cry [4], though there has been plenty of tragedy during his 18 years in power. [5] It happened once, right at the start of his rule [6] — on 24 February 2000, at the funeral of Anatoly Sobchak.

The president who bombed seven countries in six years — dropping 26,171 bombs in 2016 alone — somehow manages to cry during a speech about gun control…

[4] In reality, citizens of many countries rarely see their leaders cry: the attitude of those who possess or seek power tends to be that tearfulness is an indication of weakness. I say ‘tends to’ with a reason: exceptions exist, mostly in proudly ‘liberal’ contexts where signs of ‘sensitivity’ and ’empathy’ — especially in men — are a political selling-point. For example, US president Barack Obama was widely praised for the tears he shed in 2016 when speaking about the Sandy Hook school massacre — even though the display was absurd: anyone who believes that the episode showed Obama to be ‘a sensitive man, healthily in touch with his emotions’ needs to remember that this president’s expanded drone assassination programme was then killing nine innocent bystanders for every intended target, and with never a whiff of due process, either.

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Mar 21, 2018 8:28 PM

Connotation (the ideas and concepts associated with a word) is really important when influencing people’s thoughts and opinions. For example:
A white hat hacker is an individual who uses hacking skills to identify security vulnerabilities in hardware, software or networks. However, unlike black hat hackers, white hat hackers respect the rule of law as it applies to hacking.
In United States films of the Western genre between the 1920s and the 1940s, white hats were often worn by heroes and black hats by villains to symbolize the contrast in good versus evil
I guess ‘blue helmets’ wouldn’t have worked.

Mar 20, 2018 1:07 PM

“The Anti-Russia Show Must go on – Another Setup?!”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/the-anti-russia-show-must-go-on-another-setup/

Mar 20, 2018 8:46 AM

Jon Henley has an interesting piece over at the Guardian. Apparently he watched RT’s coverage of the Skripal case for twenty-four hours and saw propaganda. Here’s my comment:
And here’s his article:

Mar 21, 2018 2:37 PM
Reply to  stevehayes13

John Henley’s article in the Guardian is a bit odd. I can’t see the point of it, unless it’s a way to present the Russian view and criticise the British government’s version of events, whilst, all the time one is pretending to do the opposite, neat way to get past the Guardian’s censors.
I simply can’t see why one would call the RT’s coverage… ‘propaganda.’ Unless merely disagreeing with the British government, by itself and not slavishly accepting their narrative about Salisbury, qualifies as… ‘propaganda’? That appears to be Henley’s position, yet, for obvious reasons he doesn’t say so openly, as if all ‘right thinking’ people already know this to be true. Russians always lie and are incapable of telling the truth; whilst we are different, and this is after Blair and the unprovoked attack on Iraq based on whole raft of lies designed to justify war. Our recent history isn’t alluded to, our behaviour, our use of Propaganda, but in relation to Russia things are reversed. That must be the sign of the true believer, the true liberal zealot.
I don’t know about a ‘cold war’, this all reminds me of a ‘religious war’ the ones we were so good at not so long ago in Europe. It also smacks of something close to a form of anti-Russian racism. The idea that the Slavs have an ingrown capacity for violence, treachery and dissembling… and this from the supposedly ‘left-wing’ and ‘liberal’ Guardian!
What I find disturbing is, and a dreadful sign of the times, which look like wartime to me, is that my views, my criticisms, about this article and the Guardian’s awful role in these events, the sheen of ‘liberalism’ covering attitudes that smell of racism, are impossible to get published in the Guardian itself. They are strangling dissent and opposition, whilst all the while pushing real propaganda which is, I’d argue, far worse and more blatant, than anything one can find on RT, which probably marks me out as a traitor too.

Mar 20, 2018 12:16 AM

Good article in the Morning Star today
“Lately another group has emerged, Doctors Under Fire. Coincidentally, as with the White Helmets, it was co-founded by a former British army officer, Colonel (rtd) Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.
“Quoted daily by multiple media outlets on the Skripal case, de Bretton-Gordon has become a very public expert, relied upon for unbiased comment and analysis by the British and foreign media on chemical weapon threats from Salisbury to Syria.
“He is a former assistant director of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Land Forces with the Ministry of Defence. Before that de Bretton-Gordon was commanding officer of Britain’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment and Nato’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion.
“While his CBRN background is often mentioned, his military intelligence links are rarely referred to publicly.
“Long before the Salisbury event, de Bretton-Gordon was urging greater government expenditure on chemical protection counter-measures and equipment. He has used his columns in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, as well as TV appearances to repeat this message.
“He was quoted in the Morning Star on March 15 in the news story Tories to fork out £48m for new defence centre.
“While his Guardian online biography selectively mentions his military record and work on Syria, it overlooks his day job — de Bretton-Gordon is managing director CBRN of Avon Protection Systems, based in Melksham, Wiltshire.
“The company website states: “We have been supplying respirators to the UK Ministry of Defence and other Nato allies since the 1920s and we are the primary supplier of CBRN respiratory equipment to all United States Department of Defence Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Special Operations Forces.”
“So Colonel de Bretton-Gordon, among other things, sells gas masks. In fact, it’s likely you’ve seen his company’s products on TV worn by military or police personnel at high-profile incidents such as the one in Salisbury.
“Last month, Avon Rubber, Avon Protection’s parent company, announced a five-year £16m contract to supply the Ministry of Defence with general service respirators.
“In November, Avon Rubber announced it was a recognised bidder in a 10-year $8bn US Defence Department programme on CBRN equipment.
I”n January, it announced the completion of a multimillion-dollar order from the US Department of Defence after revealing last May that it had won a contract to supply 37,000 of its FM50 masks to “an unnamed customer.”
In 2017, the company made £50m from its US military contracts and a further £63.3m from other “protection and defence” revenue.
“Commenting on the results, Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, noted: “Fatal acts of terrorism in the US and Europe have buoyed demand for gas masks that shows little signs of waning any time soon” (Terror acts ‘drive up’ orders at Avon Rubber, RubberNews.com — November 20 2017)…”
Ticks a lot of boxes, doesn’t he, the old Colonel?

Mar 20, 2018 10:12 PM
Reply to  bevin

What disturbs me about your post is that de Bretton-Gordon is MD of a company selling gas masks, not guns.
He is an expert in his field and is appointed MD of a company selling an entirely defensive product. Irrespective of his intelligence background, which might be considered entirely beneficial in the current terrorist dominated political climate, he is profiting from his experience and expertise. There is nothing wrong with that, I assume you do the same, yet your tax money is contributing to the UK’s (and I assume you are a UK taxpaying resident) own WMD’s. But I don’t hear much of your efforts to mitigate that ‘crime against humanity’ by you bringing millions of pounds of tax revenue into the country by selling entirely benign defensive products.
Try to get a grip on your arguments. Condemning everyone who profits just because they are good at what they do means we will all soon be living in mud huts fearing that someone might catch a rabbit to eat.
Tick any boxes?

Mar 21, 2018 1:01 AM
Reply to  HotScot

Tick any boxes?
Yes, the one marked “conflict of interest”, you disinfo troll.
Return to your spook masters. Tell them that you have failed. Maybe you can get a job writing the scripts for these deep state psyops; stupidity seems to be no impediment.

Mar 19, 2018 8:07 PM

Interesting analysis/suggestion from a commentator (FBaggins) on Zerohedge
“You are right. It is a false flag. Here are my reasons for judgment.
If the Russians wanted Skripa dead, and did not want to take “credit” for the death, then they would not have used a weapon which could be used by the UK and the US to give them the blame. This is especially the case in a political climate with all the UK, US, Israeli hostility, false flags, fake news, and provocations against Russia, because of its support for Syria, its opposition to Rothschild-based globalism, and its opposition in the oil, gas and pipe-line wars. In this particularly volatile, political climate where there is a history of US- UK-Israeli false flag attacks in Syria using poison gas, in an effort to justify an escalation of that war, if Russia wanted Skripa dead the weapon of choice certainly would not be a messy poison gas used in the UK where other people were injured.
It is clear from the way the UK and US authorities and the MSM are playing this that the emphasis is on the “Russian developed nerve gas” and not the death of ex-low-level-double-agent Skripa. It is all about the gas amplified with the hot air of the MI6-CIA-ridden propaganda-spewing news networks of the West.
As for actually fingerprints, they could be that of any black ops arm of any intelligence nation on the globe, simply because the formula for making the stuff has been know to the world for years and the chemicals are readily accessible to anyone in the commercial market.
What we do know is that this was a seemingly “sloppy” operation using a highly toxic nerve gas. The real purpose was more likely to focus on the use of the deadly gas. If it was another false flag, then the motive was clearly to discredit Russia.
Because it was “sloppy” in using such a toxic gas to endanger others and yet did not even initially kill the target, the fingerprints do not appear to be Russian in this case, despite where the formula for the gas ordinally originated. If anything, and we wanted to remain objective, the evidence would suggest it was in effect more of a terrorist attack, but with no group taking credit. It is interesting that in fact it is being played by the UK media in exactly that way – as an attack against British people of their sacred sovereign soil. Yet, there is no evidence that even if Russia for some reason wanted Skripa out of the way, that they would have any interest or motive in doing it in such a “sloppy” way to be accused of terrorism against the British people.
As for actual finger prints, which ever group did this clearly wanted the focus to be on the weapon and not on the victim, which is exactly what occurred. In this respect we can conclude that the “sloppiness” was deliberate. But if the sloppiness was deliberate then it was clearly not Russian hit. Therefore, what wet-work agencies are known for such sloppiness and in being so arrogant and cavalier in thinking they can commit any atrocity, and create any narrative out of it they want, and the stupid, brainwashed public will just swallow it whole? What agencies do we know who do not care if some liberated and thinking members their own public put two and two together? Why of course, the same agencies which gave us 9/11, WMD’s, Al Qaeda & ISIS terrorism, sarin gas attacks in Syria, Russian collusion, the Vegas massacre, etc.”

Mar 20, 2018 3:51 AM
Reply to  Pablo

Yes, all false flags rely on heaps of ambiguity and suppression of any hard facts. The Skripal case fits this perfectly.

Mar 19, 2018 5:43 PM

Thank you for this. The BBC reflects government in that there is a public and private policy, wherein the latter drives action. When reading or viewing what is termed mainstream media, one has an uneasy feeling akin to buying a used car, I know I’m being conned but can’t always prove how. Those of a dramatic turn believe a concerted psy-ops war, I understand why they would think that.

Mar 19, 2018 4:19 PM

Excellent analysis. One cannot help but imagine that a good deal of the populace of the West is currently existing in some combination of existential bad-fait, doubt and distrust, and fear regarding the world situation. Some are clinging blindly and without critical analysis to the MSM lies referred to as “official narratives,” while others no doubt are beginning to wonder if anything MSM says can possibly be true while not knowing “what” to believe, while yet others must be asking themselves if it is official enemies like “Russia” or actually the collection of crazies ruling the Western empire that is the real danger to themselves, their family and humanity in general. The current extreme fact-free nature of Western propaganda would suggest an almost hysterical Western oligarchic class desperate to create a “reality” in which their unilateral power is not disintegrating before their eyes. Their MSM peddle this absolute nonsense propaganda to the public, but it’s almost as if they’re really trying to convince themselves of the truth of their lies, since the actual reality of a multi-polar world is just too frightening for them to come to terms with.

Mar 19, 2018 4:14 PM

I listened to the BBC coverage of Putin’s landslide victory and couldn’t help but… smile. They were having a hard time of it because, on the one hand this wasn’t what they’d call a ‘fee and democratic’ election, but on the other hand millions of Russians had been allowed to vote and they had massively voted for the ‘wrong’ candidate!
My smile broadened as they turned to the ‘main opposition leader’, whatsisname? Navalny? I expected them to talk about the leader of the Communist Party! How on earth can they label Navalny the main opposition leader when he only poles around 1% of the votes, if he’d been allowed to stand? This is absurd, yet, presented in all seriousness by the BBC. I think it qualifies as both ‘fake news’ and ‘propaganda’ at the same time.
They were also a bit unsure about the turnout. It was rather high, over 60%, but that wasn’t really all that ‘good’ because too many of them voted for the wrong candidate, the one the West doesn’t support or like very much!
But I wondered, who stops the Russian voters, once they’re inside the polling station from voting for someone else rather than Putin? Surely they could just not vote for him, what’s to stop them doing that, if they don’t support him. In theory couldn’t they manifest a massive anti-Putin protest vote, not by boycotting the election, but by not voting for him if they don’t want to. I mean nobody could stop them doing that. No one is actually forcing them to put their cross beside Putin’s name. But, for the BBC guys, this seem a little to esoteric for their highly professional brains. I wonder why?

Mar 21, 2018 8:16 AM
Reply to  MichaelK

for the BBC guys, this seem a little to esoteric for their highly professional brains. I wonder why?
Here’s an esoteric theory: because they’re functional idiots. They may not have originally been mental defectives, but have become so through constant practice and experience. Having a functioning brain is incompatible with maintaining their highly-paid careers, so they no longer do. But being aware of their own fundamental idiocy, or their having chosen it, would contradict their self-concept and cause them distress, so they aren’t.
standard quotation follows. as before, let me know when it’s no longer relevant.

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed.
— George Orwell, 1984

Thomas Prentice
Thomas Prentice
Mar 19, 2018 3:31 PM

I haven’t rented TV programming via cable or satellite since Barack Obama tried to destroy Social Security and the US social contract on the altar of “deficit reduction” in 2011 to rapturous coverage rave media reviews so I am usually – and thankfully — out of THAT loop.
However, Saturday evening at a friend’s home in Dallas – an elderly women whom I look in on from time to time — we watched NBC Nightly News before going back to basketball. The presenter looked so botoxed and made up that I thought I was watching a performing corpse, eyes moving and mouth open but he appeared totally botoxed to death.
Worse, half the news presenter’s news was equally botoxed; total CIA pre-written script about poor Alexei Navalny, Putin’s only real opponent, not having ballot status because of the Mean Ole Putin. NOTHING about Navalny’s lawbreaker status, et cetera and lots of BS about him being the only powerful credible opponent, but boo hoo not on the ballot. Of COURSE, on SUNDAY, the COMMUNIST PARTY nominee was grabbing 15% of the vote while Navalny’s highest polling numbers in any previous polls never got out of the lowest of low single digits: 1%
Worse was the botoxed video of the same two CIA assets — two attractive young people, the young woman especially wearing different fashionable glasses in each take apparently over a couple of days — mouthed predictable rubbish about Putin and the horrible state of the country. No Other Side either.
Several times during the “news” I expressed the opinion, unchallenged and not remarked upon, that this was all CIA propaganda. Jose Diaz-Balart, the news presenter of Telemundo and msDNC, did however, correctly pronounce in Spanish the name of whomever the female reporter was which is something white presenters seem incapable of doing.
Then Sunday I was at another elderly friend’s house and she has an uncharacteristic outburst about how bad Venezuela was and what privation the people there were suffering, all because of the alleged persecution by Venezuelan gangs of her favorite Texas Rangers (Dallas) player, catcher Robinson Chirinos.
The Dallas News reported that the gang members “came into the little bodega and restaurant seeking, as they put it: “Robinson Chirinos’ sister.” They came to deliver a message. They came to let Robinson Chirinos know that if he persisted in protesting against the Venezuelan government — along with a handful of other Venezuelan major leaguers — his family was in jeopardy.” No Other Side Either.
She was outraged and I decided not to challenge either the facts of the stories circulating which she recounted nor her anger — which appeared to be based solely on her affection for the catcher — so I stayed silent — even though I HAD heard the stories earlier and immediately thought that the damned CIA was probably paying thugs to do that [as other fashionably dressed CIA thugs kept using violence to protest the Maduro government] in order to generate even more bad news about the Bolivarian revolution of Venezuela to further destabilize it in the minds of affluent, suburban bourgeois white Americans.
Yet in both instances, both elderly women, well-educated, knowledgeable and articulate accepted these botoxed CIA stories uncritically.
NO WONDER THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SO NUMBED AND DUMBED. Especially since CRITICAL THINKING seems to be totally, woefully absent from the curriculum in the public schools – as well as absent from those damned devices the youngsters walk around with these days, complete with earplugs, and stare at incessantly.
Walter Cronkite of CBS News did his share of service to the Empire, but he and Dan Rather and some of the older, print-journalism types who wound up in TV news generally wrote their own stuff based on their own on-the-ground shoe leather reporting or using the telephone, among other things, to actually contact and interview sources. Both were the “Managing EDITORS” of their broadcasts unlike these botoxed middle aged college educated catwalk models, male and female, pretty faces with authoritative voices and withering stares into the camera, defying one to critically think
Despite their failures, some Walter and Dan would be useful at this point in human history.
Alas. And alack.

Binra (@onemindinmany)
Binra (@onemindinmany)
Mar 19, 2018 12:04 PM

Yes BBC is a tool of mind-shaping and mind-capture. And such ‘media’ operate weapons of stealth in framing and setting the narrative terms in which a filtered and distorted thinking supports a perception and experience of its world – indeed its Cosmology too.
But don’t stop at the BBC et al as if a causal agent or power in and of itself.
The pattern of self-justification as a narrative control or ‘continuity’, is of masking of hiding both to its self and from its self, which uses the presentation to others – and accuses or interprets the same IN others.
The felt need to mask or seek external power or symbol of justification is the belief in invalidity and unacceptability, as cause for rejection and loss of face and loss of power.
Internal conflicts project or export themselves onto the world of the other, in which they seek to be ‘resolved’ or acted out on the basis of fantasy gratifications of possession and domination, victory or vindication in vengeance. This is to say we are all participant in an entanglement of masking ego entanglement that is by nature dissociated from ‘what is – as it is’.
While power struggle jostles for narrative ‘control’, all such ‘powers unite as one against the revealing of the falsity of such ‘power’. In some degree this arises as the otherwise jostling power class against the people deemed to be under possession or jurisdiction, but in truth it is both uniting against the truth that is deemed more threat than the ‘devil we know’ and align in secret beneath the mask or declare against in public as a mask.
But truth is not an attack upon the mask. Truth is freedom from the mask that gifts and aligns a persona of a different purpose than ‘cover story’ for pet hates, secret sins and an overwhelmingly impermeable sense of denial, loss and rejection.
Yet for all that such is masked over, or pushed deep into unconsciousness by heavy denial and dissociation – it is both leaking and re-eneacting itself as our human world – which is a masking distortion of ‘augmented reality’ upon and within a living biospheric being. Much more alive than our ‘discovered’ models can ever be.
The investment in face, image, model as self, is itself a mind-capture running with the privileges and protections that rightly pertain to self – but operating in reversal of the true nature of being – as the justified grievance at external (-ised) sense of lack of recognition, support and embrace. These terms do not signify the trauma of a denied and denying sense of self in terror or rage – and all the defences that are invoked to ‘escape ourselves’. But no one comes into the human world BUT through such an experience and is shaped or formed in its image or archetype as the need to survive, laid upon the movement of life that is our being.
Having looked at what Putin has said in consistency with what he has done, I see significant support for the basis of the law of respect – as an acknowledgement of self interest in others and a willingness to engage in active relations where that willingness is met – even in such opportunities as may arise within the otherwise refusals or denials of such a possibility as a result of currently operating beliefs and actions. In this sense I see a Putin who seeks to recover or redeem Russia’s inheritance for a sense of shared worth, but not in gratification of hatred against a sense of justified unworthiness of its persecutors – yet acknowledging there are such hatreds and there are unworthy facets of its own past.
Insofar as we (individually or collectively) reflect, we are giving focus to various facets of our existence within the movement of desire and attention that is that intent. The seeming war of conflicting facets of identified desire is the symptom of conflicted purpose – which is a mind that knows not what it does, because it has held to a wish at expense of true – and in a sense ‘died’ or dissociated with the wish as if denied by a truth that changed to became ‘other’. When we do not hold our own purpose in thought and feeling to the light of awareness – we hide in the dark and suffer to be powers within a sense of powerlessness in ever changing roles.
Stories can be used to serve a reintegrative and unifying purpose from a basis in felt recognition of integrity that extend to others rather than seeking unity over and against feared or hated ‘others’.
I sense that many operate compliance within or under conditions of loveless necessity to protect and persist such lovelessness and feel dissonant in this rather than comfortably masked in scripts of justification. The desire for freedom from tyranny is naturally un-coverable and does not require manipulation or coercion to ‘wake up’ or energise. Honouring this desire and giving it welcome, is to allow your mind to alight in a different perspective that that of manipulative coercions – if only one step at a time, amidst the otherwise refusal or unwillingness to ‘negotiate’.
This is to say that any genuine progress to our experience and appreciation of our world is a result of an open acceptance of what is – as it is – that then allows movement of inspiration for integrative change. The old model works the imposition of a ‘story’ upon the other and the world, whether overtly from force or covertly through the framing of narrative and then reacting as if the story is true. This ‘magical’ mind-trick steals from our true inheritance to gain a prodigal wasteland. But a true Inherence is not lost, but only covered by the wish to be as gods. Or rather, as a sense of lack imagined and vindicated.

Mar 19, 2018 6:35 PM

@Binra. For sure Putin is a realist, as is Dr.Assad. And for sure their shrewd realism is tempered with respect for the necessarily selfish aims of others who have “entered this human world”. Hence Putin’s much criticised rhetoric of “Our Partners in the West” and Dr.Assad’s equally controversial policy of Amnesty and Reconciliation: both men recognize that other people may have different aims, and the necessity to work toward a common objective reality. Whereas the Beeb, as you say, is a tool for mind control, demonising the Other for for one’s own self-centred reasons, and denying the very existence of objective reality.
PS I wonder if both these Leaders are so exta-ordinariily objective because both of them believe in God. As opposed to say, Tony BLiar who only believes in Mammon.

Mar 21, 2018 8:44 AM
Reply to  vexarb

as you say
Actually, they didn’t. The discourses of the entity known as “Binra” are a textual Rorschach test; any perceived content is supplied by your own imagination, rather than being inherent in the stimulus in any measurable or reproducible way.
What purpose this project might serve, and for who, is a matter for speculation.
The image below could be creatively interpreted as saying “Insofar as we (individually or collectively) reflect, we are giving focus to various facets of our existence within the movement of desire and attention that is that intent. The seeming war of conflicting facets of identified desire is the symptom of conflicted purpose – which is a mind that knows not what it does, because it has held to a wish at expense of true – and in a sense ‘died’ or dissociated with the wish as if denied by a truth that changed to became ‘other’. When we do not hold our own purpose in thought and feeling to the light of awareness – we hide in the dark and suffer to be powers within a sense of powerlessness in ever changing roles.”
Conversely, it might just be an inkblot. Who can say, for sure?comment image

Mar 21, 2018 12:03 PM
Reply to  milosevic

There are plenty of breaking and significant issues to discuss here and your contributions are always welcome, so let’s not waste time on discussing the condition of reality of other commenters. It’s unprovable, and therefore unimportant at the moment.

Mar 22, 2018 2:57 AM
Reply to  Admin

The paragraph that I quoted is clearly completely meaningless (it’s not even grammatical), so the question of why such things keep being posted here is surely, as I said, “a matter for speculation”.
As for the entity’s “condition of reality”, it is, as you say, unprovable. It may very well be a cyborg, a human/cybernetic hybrid, with the machine generating the content-free text, and the human directing its efforts in accordance with their masters’ agenda.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Mar 19, 2018 10:10 AM

Bigger Bullshit Coming.
‘John Q Puppet’ ?
Which President was he ?
🕔🕖🕘🕙 Oh, he was ALL of them 😉

mr rory hayes
mr rory hayes
Mar 19, 2018 9:47 AM

Why all the unnecessary verbosity? Is it a desire to sound grand and superior?
So many people in the British part of the world are in love with how they sound but really , is it worth a damn?

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
Mar 19, 2018 12:26 PM
Reply to  mr rory hayes

If there is a better precis of how, and why the media re-frame imperial violence in order to keep the masses on-side, or at least sufficiently ill-informed to negate stronger resistance can you point me towards it?
Mark Doran is absolutely spot on when he says “To achieve the kind of make-over miracle by which aggression is painted as a combination of victimhood and altruism, a whole battery of beautifying propaganda terms is required, including ‘defence’, ‘response’, ‘intervention’, ‘human rights’, and ‘international law’.”
But not just beautifying terms – the media is also very quick to demonise any public figure that is not equally vociferous in promoting the imperial agenda (essentially corporate bodies using all, and any means to further their financial interests).
The BBC presenter on Newsnight looked a bigger twat than usual when he was challenged about the now infamous image of Corbyn, the one that had been doctored to suggest he was a Putin-loving traitor – Evan Davis’s top lip was sweating even more than usual as he tried to wriggle out of it.

Mar 19, 2018 9:14 AM

Meanwhile, headlines in a distant imaginary Universe somewhat parallel to the Beeb’s: President Hilary Clinton on State visit to India.
She falls again

Clinton’s medic reiterating POTUS fit for duty.
President Putin laughing.

Mar 19, 2018 10:54 AM
Reply to  vexarb

The RT remastered version is better if you can stick it up?

Mar 19, 2018 11:40 AM
Reply to  hamishish

@hamish. Thanks but I prefered an undoctored video for the benefit of “those that have ears to hear and eyes to see”. And minds to remember video clips from the campaign.

Mar 19, 2018 8:54 AM

This is also a remarkably odd story from the BBC
Russian spy: UK government response going to plan so far
john pienaar
Among senior ministers and officials, there’s quiet satisfaction that the Russia crisis seems to be going according to plan. Maybe even better.
According to one senior government source, “it’s gone at least as well as we’d hoped”.
He didn’t add, “…so far, anyway”. But then he hardly needed to. As Britain ponders its new post-Brexit role in the world, we’re now witnessing the start of a new and defining phase.
Judging the high and the low politics of the Russia crisis objectively, Theresa May and her team have been able to tick a series of boxes. So far, anyway.
The UK sits front and centre of a solid front ranging from the EU through NATO and Donald Trump’s White House. (Tick).
Johnson blames Putin for nerve agent attack
Labour row over Corbyn’s Russia stance
The response of the US President was always the least predictable. But as one well placed figure told me: “The US relationship is about more than the contacts between our two principals. We have good lines of communication to people who are in the room with the President. They’ve been paying off.”
So a crisis which had the potential to divide the western alliance appears to have achieved the opposite. (Tick) So far, anyway.
Ministers, I am told, are ready to escalate the level of action if Moscow’s expected countermeasures are seen as “disproportionate”.
Free expression
For Britain, these could include further expulsions, asset freezes against the Russian president’s close associates – “the kind of people who have Putin on speed dial” – and more.
There’s no present wish in government to see the Kremlin funded TV network RT, formerly Russia Today, banned. It would ultimately be a decision for the independent watchdog Ofcom anyway.
But Theresa May is said to be keener to pointedly demonstrate her support for the principle of free expression.
Moscow’s inevitable response to Britain’s expulsions and planned sanctions will test the UK’s resolve and the strength of the alliance against Russian aggression.
At Westminster, MPs on all sides have offered unqualified support for Theresa May’s response. (Tick).
The most notable exception has been Jeremy Corbyn, backed by some but not all of his closest colleagues.
From a Conservative point of view this perhaps merits a double-tick.
Gone as well as we hoped???
So a plan for domestic political advantage and politicing by destroying our diplomatic relations with Russia and possibly provoking a war, really!

Mar 19, 2018 1:06 PM
Reply to  avenir

Great post-great comment!

Mar 21, 2018 8:56 AM
Reply to  avenir

Gone as well as we hoped???
Surely the critical phrase is “going according to plan”.
That’s a highly telling admission.

Mar 19, 2018 8:16 AM

The Guardian was complaing about press freedom in Russia yesterday in relation to RT as a “propaganda” channel rather forgetting our own “reporters without borders” rating, we’re at number 40 in the rankings and going down
A worrying trend
A heavy-handed approach towards the press – often in the name of national security – has resulted in the UK slipping down the World Press Freedom Index. Parliament adopted the most extreme surveillance legislation in UK history, the Investigatory Powers Act, with insufficient protection mechanisms for whistleblowers, journalists, and their sources, posing a serious threat to investigative journalism. Even more alarming, the Law Commission’s proposal for a new ‘Espionage Act’ would make it easy to classify journalists as ‘spies’ and jail them for up to 14 years for simply obtaining leaked information. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 remains cause for concern – in particular, the law’s punitive cost-shifting measure that could hold publishers liable for the costs of all claims made against them, regardless of merit. The seizure by UK border authorities of a Syrian journalist’s passport at the request of the Assad regime sent the worrying signal that critical foreign journalists traveling to the UK could be targeted by their own governments.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
Mar 19, 2018 2:13 PM
Reply to  avenir

Small moan but I was immediately memory-holed at the Guardian for linking to an RT item illustrating Corbyn’s support for the Kurds.
Hard to say what they are most frightened about – RT, Corbyn, the Kurds, or most likely just simple truths?
Honestly, the level of paranoia has gone through the roof.

Mar 19, 2018 7:30 AM

Western political coverage of elections is soaked in bias, ideology and deep-seated dogmas about what constitutes real democracy. These ideas and positions are rarely, if ever, examined. I remember still the horror at University when I argued that the UK itself was a ‘challenged’ and ‘flawed’ form of ‘democracy.’ I couldn’t get my head around the position of the unelected House of Lords, a unique institution in western democracies. Then there was the electoral system that massively favoured the Tory Party and massively exaggerated their support, repeatedly handing them substantial majorities over all the other parties put together and supposedly legitimate mandates, on a 42% share of the actual votes cast. How exactly was that a paragon of democracy? A party with minority support magically turned into a majority in parliament despite their obvious rejection by the people? My remarks, gosh I was young and foolish then, caused something like horror, especially as I was a ‘foreigner’ with family behind the Iron Curtain. And this was before I got on to the US system, which, if anything, was even worse and more distorted and ‘rigged’ than the UK’s. I suppose I was young and naive. I simply couldn’t get myself to agree to a pack of lies and brain-dead dogmas that appeared to be contradicted by looking at reality.
So, Clinton gets almost 3 million more votes than Trump in the last election, but still loses the race because Trump wins massively in the electoral college. It’s their system and he just exploited it. But is it really ‘democracy’? A political system specifically designed to ‘moderate’ the will of the people and steer them in a sensible direction, which coincidentally of course, allows elite rule to survive, virtually unchallenged.

Harry Law
Harry Law
Mar 19, 2018 10:52 AM
Reply to  MichaelK

MichaelK, How dare you say the US electoral system is ‘rigged’, in my opinion it is the best system money can buy.

Mar 19, 2018 7:14 AM

One of the false lines of direction about Russia is how the media is either all “state controlled/funded” or “controlled/funded by the Kremlin”. The BBC ironically often goes out of its way to stress this.
However this is not true, the reality is in Russia there are many independent media and all in competition with each other, whether news, entertainment film or whatever. The state TV channels are Russia 1 and Channel 1 all others are either part funded by the government or independent. There are many independent media outlets in Russia funded by advertising.
RT is state funded but is not a channel for domestic audiences it’s mainly for international audiences. Where as Ruptly is part of the RT family of companies for the real time transmission of news and current affairs and operates out of Germany.
What is glaringly obvious is that the amount of content produced by the BBC [which forms part of everyone’s lives in the UK] far outweighs anything the Russian government funds domestically and globally. Which leaves us with this clear dilemma, why would the BBC constantly try to present itself as somehow independent of government?
I think the above article makes it abundantly clear.

Mar 19, 2018 6:36 AM

A good point, illustrating how wearisome life becomes when one cannot rely on a public news service to obey the simple commandment, Thou shalt not Lie. One is forced to read between the lines, become a Sherlock alert to the dog that does not bark in the night as well as to the poodle that yaps in the day, to shades of tone in the yapping, to tones of “smear and sneer” as the author says. The British with their famous U and non-U are past masters of the art of sneer, but the practice can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks and further. Robert Graves, in The White Goddess, called the art of “doctoring” public information (Plato called it mixing in some medicine for the masses) the most valuable legacy of the Olympian religion to the British ruling class. More than a century ago Hilaire Belloc, in The Free Press, described how wearisome the search for truth becomes when one is forced to sift a myriad alternative sites because one can no longer drink from the drugged public water.

Mar 19, 2018 6:32 AM

Another absolutely nailed on article. Thank you.