Disbelief, Magic Realism and Doublethink Alive and Well in 2018

James O’Neill

In the Lyrical Ballads, a collection of essays and poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the latter coined the phrase “the willing suspension of disbelief.” It enabled the reader to overlook the logical improbabilities or fanciful concoctions to achieve “poetic faith”.

A modern equivalent might be “magical realism,” a term conceived by the German writer Franz Roh in 1925. Magical realism was a style of fiction that painted a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements.

Both terms are appropriate when one considers modern journalism, especially as applied to some of the major stories of 2018. Four events during that year illustrate the point.


Although not strictly speaking a 2018 story, it nonetheless ran strongly through 2018, blending a number of sub stories, all with the common element of Russia bashing.

Following the United States inspired and financed Maidan coup in February 2014, the Crimeans decided to hold a referendum as to whether or not they would remain part of Ukraine (to whom they were ‘gifted’ by Khrushchev in 1954 after hundreds of years as part of Russia), or revert to being part of what was now the Russian Federation.

A referendum overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia. Although the process was far more democratic than was the case with Kosovo leaving Serbia (which the West supported) the Crimean move has been consistently referred to in the western media as an example, variously, of a “Russian invasion,” or “Russian aggression.”

Contrary facts are simply ignored. A similar inability to distinguish fact from fiction was also applied to the Ukrainian shooting down of MH17, or the manifestly staged provocation in the Kerch Strait linking the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.

Actual evidence in respect of these matters is simply not reported in the western media. It is a phenomenon George Orwell would readily recognise where only “newspeak” is allowed, and dissenters and “unpersons” never seen or heard.


The second illustration is the ongoing war in Syria and western media allegations that Syria’s President Assad used chemical weapons against the civilian population. The White Helmets, a British led group of fake emergency responders feature prominently in multiple Syria related stories, but never portrayed for what they really are. On the ground independent reporters such as Vanessa Beeley are simply ignored.

The alleged chemical attack at Douma on 7 April 2018 was immediately used to justify the bombing of Syria by United States, United Kingdom and French military forces before there had even been an inquiry, much less a finding adverse to the Syrian government.

When the OPCW released their interim report on 17 July 2018 they concluded “no organophosphate nerve agents or their degradation products were found.” There was no apology from the US, UK or France. No compensation was paid to the victims of their bombing.

Instead, there was a media blackout, just as one can never find in the mainstream media any articles arguing that the US led “Coalition” fighting in Syria is there in violation of international law.

Australia’s politicians pretend to have legal justification, but refuse to release the advice upon which this claim is founded. Similarly, part of the alleged justification for attacking Syria is a supposed invitation from the Iraqi Government, who have has flatly denied any such invitation. None of this is reported in the mainstream media.


The third ongoing farce is the Mueller “investigation” into what is boldly claimed (not alleged, but stated as a fact) Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. That not a shred of actual evidence has been produced to support this claim is again simply ignored. Instead, each indictment brought by Mueller against sundry bit players in the Trump campaign, and individuals who don’t even qualify as such, is treated as ‘corroboration’ of Russian interference.

The careful demolition of the ‘Russia interference’ meme by respected investigative analyst Gareth Porter (www.consortiumnews.com 10 October 2018) is of course completely ignored.


The final illustration is the alleged of poisoning with “Novichok” of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March 2018. This was immediately blamed on Russia, again before an investigation had been concluded, followed by sanctions, the expulsion of Russian diplomats (including by Australia) and a general tirade of abuse against Russia in general and President Putin in particular.

The Skripal case is a classic illustration of Coleridge’s willing suspension of disbelief, Roh’s magical realism and Orwell’s doublethink (the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct) all rolled into one.

Rob Slane (www.theblogmire.com 9 January 2019) has brilliantly deconstructed the many logical, scientific and political absurdities in the official story. One will wait in vain for the merest hint of this demolition in the mainstream media.

One possible reason for this non-coverage of the actual evidence and instead a non-stop barrage of disinformation, suppression of evidence and manipulation of the public can be found in the activities of a shadowy organisation known as the Institute for Statecraft, and one of its projects known as the Integrity Initiative (sic).

Fresh revelations are emerging about this project on a daily basis and a proper analysis must await developments. Suffice to note at this point that the Integrity Initiative is known to be funded by the United Kingdom government, ostensibly to counter ‘Russian disinformation.’ It is rather a major project to spread falsehoods about Russia through “clusters” of journalists working in mainstream media outlets.

The latter have gone beyond the willing suspension of disbelief and instead actively promote disinformation they know to be untrue. It is not only potential embarrassment that prevents this story getting the attention it deserves. It is a strong suspicion, no more than that at the time of writing, that a D Notice has been issued in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The effect has been to prevent discussion of what is an extraordinary campaign to mislead the public, attack opposition politicians and the alternative media, and generally undermine what used to be regarded as a free press.

That some of the same personnel involved in the Integrity Initiative are also involved in the Skripal matter (itself subject to a D Notice) reinforces the belief that this project has wider tentacles than originally thought.

It seems that Coleridge, Roh and Orwell will continue to be highly relevant through 2019.

James O’Neill is a barrister at law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted at [email protected]


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Jan 20, 2019 9:43 AM

So we had the Maria Butina false arrest nonsense a few weeks ago

And now we have the Marzieh Hashemi nonsense.

Wikipedia – Marzieh Hashemi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marzieh_Hashemi)

She is supposed to be an American-born and raised journalist, however, the language quoted here suggests she’s foreign and not fluent in English. The footnote reference link is written in poor English as is the interview linked to. One might infer that she was interviewed in Farsi or Arabic and this is a poor translation but as the journal seems, essentially, English-language it seems odd that the translation would not have been edited. It’s appalling and really quite ridiculous.

“When I was a student in America I witnessed that the Iranian students are so active and I was so interested in political activities then, I used to ask them about their activities and purposes, why you protest? And they used to talk about the cruelty of the overset king [sic] and Imam Khomeini to me, and this was the first step of me becoming Muslim. I was looking for the truth and I wasn’t satisfied with my own religion, and I had no solution for the problem that the God has three parts of the Father, and the Son, and the holy Spirit, But [sic] still were one? I wasn’t convinced with answers when I asked from different people, when this issue happened to be in university, I started to study not only about Islam but about different religions, and simultaneously comparing them in theory and ideology, from Marx [sic] Weber up to now, and thanks God, after I became Muslim.[2]”

In general, the editing history of the Wikipedia article strikes me as strange. I haven’t quite figured out how Wikipedia history works but even without that understanding I think it’s obvious that it is strange.

Lack of evidence of her as a journalist

For someone who is said to be famous by the Iranian Foreign Minister there is only a single piece of evidence of her in capacity as journalist that I can find on the internet, including searches in Farsi, to 2018:

— Video of her interviewing Thomas Naylor, founder of the Vermont Secessionist Group 2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIu5fk8Bejc

— Under the name of Mardhiah Hashemi (the version of her name is from earlier versions in Wikipedia) this is an interview with her by vonpress about the attraction of Islam for Americans and women in particular, 2016. This, however, is not her being the journalist but the interviewee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3of72Ew3mI4

— It says she is editor of Mahjubah, Magazine for Muslim Women (https://www.wcjb.com/content/news/Iran-newspapers-minister-criticize-US-arrest-of-newscaster-504485781.html). This journal seems non-extant for a very long time.

— This is a video with a photo of her at microphone as backdrop reciting the tragedy of the Karbala, however, this is not journalism. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok8nKbHgQ4o

What are her son’s origins?
He does not resemble his mother colourwise or in any other way. I know colour can vary enormously between parent and child and children do not necessarily resemble their parents in any obvious way but certainly he doesn’t obviously resemble her.

Lack of evidence generally
What is the clear evidence against this being a staged event just like Maria Butina (there is very clear evidence that that is staged) or the Skripals or a number of others?

Media purporting evidence that has no substance
The caption on the photo at the article below states “A woman weeps while a video clip is shown about American-born news anchor working for Iranian state television’s English-language service, Marzieh Hashemi …”. This photo could be taken at any number of events. This is reminiscent of the photo displayed of Maria Butina in the NYT (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/us/politics/trump-russia-indictment.html) with a completely blurred background saying it is an image of her in Moscow.


This very much resembles the highly improbable kind of treatment we are told Maria Butina suffered (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/accused-spy-maria-butina-asks-to-be-moved-from-solitary-confinement/).

“She had only eaten pretzels because her dietary restrictions limited her from the kinds of food that the prison facility would offer.

She is also upset about the fact that her hijab was removed during processing and later on she was only able to cover her hair with a T-shirt apparently.”

In Wikipedia:
“Press TV has said Hashemi was denied halal food, offered only pork to eat (which is forbidden under Islamic law), and she has only eaten a packet of crackers since her detainment. It was further alleged that her hijab was forcibly removed and that she is only able to wear a short-sleeved shirt, again contrary to the requirements of her Muslim faith.”

If the media tell an improbable story without clear evidence of it, should you give it the slightest credence?

Paul Carline
Paul Carline
Jan 18, 2019 6:13 PM

Major credit due to U.K. Column News who originally researched and broke the story about the Integrity Initiative.

Jan 17, 2019 6:12 AM
Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 16, 2019 10:14 PM

“one will wait in vain for the merest hint of this demolition in the mainstream media”. Thank you James for your excellent article. When I get up in the morning, I peruse the headlines on ABC 24 just to see what bizarre crap they’ve concocted today. It is truly Alice In Wonderland stuff. My completely futile comments on ABC News Facebook are completely ignored, or I’m asked how many fake profiles I have, or occasionally am told I’m a Russian troll. I don’t know why I bother? Maybe in the hope of waking one person up? I don’t discuss what’s going on in the World with my friends anymore; they swallow the mainstream narrative, and believe this garbage spewed out by presstitutes like Philip Williams and Michael Rowlands, and all the other slime pushing the World to the very brink of catastrophe. ABC and SBS are fully part of this. As for the largest ‘socialist group’ in Australia, they havn’t mentioned Julan Assange since 2012! Not a peep, yet this same group regarded what was happening in Syria as a ‘revolution’ and the various headchoppers were in fact ‘freedom fighters’ struggling against a tyrannical regime. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, they in effect regurgitated the mainstream narrative on Syria. Fake news? Fake socialist groups? Things seem pretty bloody surreal. Just keep visiting the various alternative news sites for my dose of real life reality.

Jan 16, 2019 10:39 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Gezzah, you’ve deftly summed up exactly my sentiments and experience, and I’m sure that of many here.

Therefore, our efforts are not futile:)

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 17, 2019 12:32 AM
Reply to  FS

Cheers FS…. Forgot to mention in my earlier comment the German journalist Udo Ulfkotte and his book ‘Bought Journalists’. Has it been translated into English yet? Despite how utterly Orwellian the world is, especially, the ‘media’, am really grateful we can still come on sites like OffGuardian, The Greanville Post, Moon Of Alabama, and various others. There’s a site called Softpanorama I go on which exposes Neoliberalism for what it is, with an entire section on the role the media play in all this – ‘Neoliberal War On Reality’. Really huge site, but incredibly informative.

Jan 17, 2019 1:22 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Try 21st century wire, The Duran, and The Saker as well. Fash the Nation is worth a look as well, though you may not agree with its philosophy it is very well researched.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 17, 2019 3:16 AM
Reply to  mark

Mark: yep, regularly go on The Saker, quite often The Duran and also Mintpress News. Brilliant, profound article on Saker few days ago called ‘Placing The USA On A Collapse Continuum With Dmitry Orlov’. Actually made a comment to that one. Absolutely agree with your comment below about controlled left opposition. Its like sorting out the wheat from the (fake) chaff.

Jan 17, 2019 11:26 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Another one I forgot was Guns and Butter on Soundcloud. Some “unbelievable” stuff on there from very knowledgeable and well connected people that is unfortunately all too believable.

Jan 17, 2019 1:19 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

There’s a tremendous amount of controlled opposition Faux Left now, from Soros funded Democracy Now to Counterpunch to the Guardian.

Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs
Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs
Jan 17, 2019 10:56 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t.” Lewis Carroll.

“Integrity Initiative”
“United Nations”
“Free Press”
“American Intelligence”

Jan 18, 2019 2:13 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

I hear you. We are being fed heaps of crap in Australian media. The mind boggles.

A friend who’s an activist against the expansion of mines in a particular area of NSW asked me if I would research someone she’s suspicious of. I found condolences this person had written on a FB page for two young men who’d died in a traffic incident in Gympie. I looked up the article and found reporting displaying:
— details reported slightly differently which seems slightly off
— inappropriately colloquial language in a newspaper but especially for a tragedy
— mismatch between show and tell
— strange syntax
— thought it was one thing that turned out to be another but you wonder why
— video shows nothing of significance
— contradictions within one paragraph and puzzling aspects
— concern later in the year about number of car accidents in Gympie


1. The story is reported slightly differently

a. Current story
“Just after 7pm”

“Before 7pm”

Another report says “about 7pm”

b. There’s a paywall but in the search results you see the following snippets – 400m in the first result and 200m in the second

CURRA TRAGEDY: 2 mates were 400m from home when they died …
Farewell to one of the best as Gympie says good-bye | Gympie Times

Jun 28, 2018 – Gympie man Sam Bourke was tragically killed in a single vehicle crash at … CURRA TRAGEDY: 2 mates were 200m from home when they died.

2. Mismatch of show and tell, inappropriately colloquial language, strange syntax
“The front half of the vehicle is completely gone.” [it isn’t and use of present tense instead of past and “completely gone” inappropriately colloquial]

“… a single vehicle crash in which a car has been wrapped around a tree.” [it wasn’t and again inappropriately colloquial use of present perfect instead of past and “wrapped around a tree”]

“A The Gympie Times reporter at the scene said the car was unrecognisable.” [The car is severely damaged but you wouldn’t say “unrecognisable.” Combining “A” and “The” is completely unnatural syntax]

3. Thought it was one thing – turned out to be another but you wonder why
In earlier version “two people are dead, one possibly a child” – you wonder why anyone thought it was a child and a man when it turned out be two young men.

4. Video shows nothing significant

5. Contradictory and sloppy

a. Under “EARLIER”
Emergency services are on their way [says already confirmed dead in final sentence of paragraph] to the scene of what is believed to be a single vehicle crash in which a car has been wrapped around a tree.
A The Gympie Times reporter at the scene said the car was unrecognisable.
The car appears to have smashed into the tree at high speed.
The front half of the vehicle is completely gone.
Harvey Siding Road is off the Bruce Highway, a back road which is narrow and surrounded by bushland.
Just before 8pm, the Queensland Ambulance Service confirmed two people had died.

b. “The men, both believed to be in their twenties, were reportedly killed instantly when their Mazda utility vehicle veered off Harvey Siding Rd and smashed into a tree at high speed. …
Wide Bay Forensic Crash Unit officer-in-charge Sergeant Steve Webb said early investigations had identified speed as a possible factor in the crash.” [In the first sentence “smashed into a tree at high speed” while in the second “had identified speed as a possible factor” – it was obviously a factor]

6. Puzzling
You have to wonder why they were going so fast only 200m/400m from their homes and it describes Harvey Siding Road as “off the Bruce Highway, a back road which is narrow and surrounded by bushland.”

7. Concern about large number of accidents in Gympie area

Was this event staged as an admonition to young drivers?

Jan 16, 2019 6:24 PM

In a sense nothing changes very much. 99% of everything politicians and governments say are lies and to be on the safe side you should treat 100% as such.
We have been lied to so many times. Probably most of the accepted historical record is made up of lies and government propaganda. This has been going on since WW1 on an industrial scale and probably long before that.
Bayonetted Belgian Babies/ Raped Belgian Nuns/ Crucified Canadian Prisoners/ Human Bodies Turned Into Soap.
Just before Iraq One in 1990 we had the Iraq Incubator Babies. Now we have the Syrian Gas Attacks.
A lot of the same material is recycled from the past. We had a resurrection of the Human Bodies Turned Into Soap in WW2. Around 1800 the British Government put out stories that Napoleon only had one testicle. The same story was recycled against Hitler.
The Romans put out similar atrocity stories against the Carthaginians.
When you look at the long catalogue of proven lies from recent times, you have to ask what else falls into the same category.
Tonkin Gulf/ USS Liberty/ JFK/ Operation Northwoods/ Operation Gladio/ Bologna Rail Bombing/ Brelgian Supermarket Shootings/ 9.11/ Suez/ Iraq WMD hoax/ David Kelly/ Iran WMD hoax/ Russiagate hoax/ Skripal, the list is endless. There are scores of similar examples.
They just concoct some fantasy narrative devoid of any supporting evidence and repeat it endlessly in the MSM echo chamber. Any logical and critical objections are simply ignored and cast down the memory hole.
Nothing can be taken at face value or accepted uncritically any more. We know we have been lied to in the above cases, so what else have we been lied to about? What about the Holocaust? Is that true? If they have lied to us about everything else, why wouldn’t they lie about that? In the words of the inimitable Dubya Bush – Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me.

Jan 16, 2019 10:48 PM
Reply to  mark

Mark, regarding Hitler suffering from a 50% testicular deficit, I must admit to having been extremely sceptical of the claim as a child, especially in the light of the accompanying musical assertion that the testicle not in his possession was for some unfathomable reason located in the Albert Hall.

Jan 17, 2019 1:34 AM
Reply to  FS

There was a virtually identical little musical masterpiece about Napoleon put out by the government around 1800. In a sense, so what, even if it was true. But the point is, we are lied to about everything. I was listening to the anti semitic smears about Corbyn in Parliament today. Just repeat it endlessly at every possible opportunity. Just now Channel 4 gave over 40 minutes to that great political thinker, Rachel Riley, to endlessly repeat the same smears at great length. The point is, virtually everything we have been told and taught is demonstrably false, so other things we accept uncritically probably are too.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Jan 17, 2019 9:42 PM
Reply to  mark

Thanks for enumerating these and I completely agree with your points, Mark. You I think you are too generous to Dubya. He butchered the “fool me” quote and actually said incoherently:
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

Jan 18, 2019 12:11 AM
Reply to  George Cornell

Yes, you’re right, he certainly had me confused.
I think most of the “terrorist attacks” of the past 20 years (maybe even all of them for much longer than that) were false flags. It is even possible there has been virtually no genuine terrorism since WW2. There’s a lot of good material about this on Guns and Butter/ Soundcloud, particularly on the Israeli connection.
You could argue it began with the King David Hotel attack with precursor Mossad Jewish terrorist organisations dressing up as Arabs. Then there was the Lavon Affair of the 1950s with Jewish terrorists plotting to murder Americans in Egypt and blaming it on the Egyptians. USS Liberty of course.
There is a convincing argument they were behind JFK as well. Kennedy was determined to stop Israel acquiring nuclear weapons and had to be removed. Many western politicians and even some Israelis and Zionists were concerned by the way Israel had morphed into a psychopathic, terrorist state with no ethical standards whatever. It is believed that the JFK assassination was originally intended as a limited operation mounted by the CIA, a bogus failed assassination attempt that could be blamed on Cuba. According to this, it wasn’t intended to kill JFK. But the operation was hijacked by the Israeli element to actually get rid of him. Mossad, Israeli dual nationals and the Jewish Mafia were the main actors. Mossad boast that they have a global network of 100,000 Jews, many in powerful and influential positions, they can activate for any operation. US organised crime was largely Jewish, not Italian. Jack Ruby/ Rubinstein was a hit man for the Meyer Lansky organisation.
The Red Brigades in Italy and Baader-Meinhof in Germany were entirely bogus and controlled intelligence operations. It’s the same story with the “Symbionese Liberation Army” in the US. Then there’s Gladio and Northwoods.
The spate of terrorist attacks in France over the past few years like Charlie Hebdo show similar characteristics. Most are certainly bogus. Their purpose was to secure the elections of figures like Sarkozy/ Macron. The Muslims involved were generally intelligence controlled patsies. Some of the attacks on Jews are clearly hoaxes, with alleged victims being flown out to Israel for immediate burial without post mortems. It is highly likely no one was actually killed.
JFK may have provided a blueprint for 9/11, with a limited CIA operation, maybe just an attack on the Pentagon, being hijacked again by the Israeli element with mass unplanned casualties. Domestic intelligence organisations, the CIA and French Intelligence, would be too hopelessly compromised to do anything about it afterwards even if they wanted to. Dual Nationals and the Jewish Media could be relied upon to handle any fallout.

Jan 16, 2019 2:35 PM

I think this is one of the best articles I’ve read here. On one hand a great summary of 2018 foreign news events for people largely up to speed, excellently brought together for provoking further thought and reflection.

And I think a great well written article for people not as up to speed or even those new to independent news and thought. Someone reading the four topics above would think WTF – this is not remotely what I see/hear on the news!.

I read something as well written and concise as this few years ago and not being able to reconcile the apparent credibility and conviction of the author with a ‘free press’ (which I now know to be complete nonsense) prompted me to start reading and researching more independent news..

Great work.

Jan 16, 2019 1:21 PM

“Magical realism was a style of fiction that painted a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements.”

I recall Walt Disney beginning his weekly television shows during the mid-fifty’s, describing the design and production of Disneyland (1954-1955) as a real place that would present “The Plausible, Impossible). That term never has left my mind, I think because there is so much real power in the abstract brought to life. From the Greek Theatre to the event on 911, populations have been “moved” by drama/comedy, we’ll all agree. It in the motive of the presenter; that we must now concentrate…

Jan 16, 2019 10:58 AM

All very true and well said. Realpolitik has become surrealpolitik. I would offer only one slight modification: On-the-ground independent reporters like Vanessa Beeley are not “simply ignored.” It is their evidence that is simply ignored. The reporters themselves, if they threaten to make a dent in the general consciousness, are actively vilified.

Jan 16, 2019 12:27 PM
Reply to  johnschoneboom

Allow me to add a further slight modification: re ‘Skripal’ para 1 “This was immediately blamed on Russia, again before an investigation had concluded…”.

James O’Neill is being too generous to the UK Govt here. He should more accurately have written “This was immediately blamed on Russia, despite the fact an investigation had barely begun…”

Jerry Alatalo
Jerry Alatalo
Jan 16, 2019 4:55 PM
Reply to  JudyJ

The Skripals … Weren’t they the father and daughter who were allegedly poisoned or something in March 2018 or whatever, and then never seen nor heard from again, or such? Wonder whatever happened to those (2), especially since at the time their story was being reported everywhere on Earth. 🙂 You’d think the corporate media would be drooling in anticipation of producing very lengthy interviews with Sergei and Yulia Skripal … you know, so people can hear “from the horses’ mouths” the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (Maximum, pedal-to-the-metal sarcasm)

Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs
Syrian Observatory For Human Wrongs
Jan 17, 2019 10:55 AM
Reply to  Jerry Alatalo
Jan 16, 2019 5:44 PM
Reply to  johnschoneboom

What reporters like Vanessa say is never reported, just ad hominem (or ad feminam) attacks instead. Vanessa has to be ignored because she is a communist/ Nazi/ Putin stooge/ Assad stooge/ paedophile/ anti semitic* (*delete as appropriate) and officially designated unperson.

In the Middle Ages, everybody knew that witches, fairies, pixies and elves existed and were responsible for everything that went wrong in life, like the cows or the pigs falling sick or the hens stopping laying. But round about the early 1600s, judges and juries started demanding evidence and acquitting defendants in witch trials. They accepted their existence, but still wanted to see some evidence.

The folk in the 1600s were probably more sceptical and less credulous than our friends like Harding at the Guardian today. Now everything that goes wrong, from their point of view, Trump, Brexit, French/ German/ Swedish/ Italian/ Danish/ Moldova/ Montenegro elections, is all indisputably the product of sorcery by Grand Wizard Putin, no evidence required. Such is progress.

harry stotle
harry stotle
Jan 16, 2019 9:17 AM

Its almost axiomatic to say no political thought is based on reality, if we take reality to mean proper interogation of evidence before certain views are arrived at.

Its not entirely the fault of the electorate because lying is part and parcel of the way information streams are manipulated by corporations via politicians or news platforms who act in their interest.

I never fully appreciated this until 9/11 but what we now know is that the public can be persuaded to accept almost anything providing the story chimes with deep seated fears or prejudices, such as muslim terrorists threatening ‘our way of life’ (fears and prejudices continually stoked by the media of course)

For a while I thought surely they can’t get away with it, but events post 9/11 have shown how naive I was – they can do more or less whatever they want and the public will lap it up, time and time again.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Jan 16, 2019 8:32 AM

Comments were true and apposite enough, but it’s all been said really. But given that this is largely an information war the truth needs continuously asserting. Our opponents – the Guardian (minitru on thames) the New York Post (Pravda on the Hudson) the Washington Post (Izvestia on the Potomac) – sole tactic is constant repetition, this should be our tactic also but with evidence to back it up. We need to constantly expand our readership and challenge the lunatic narrative of the PTB. We are now in a pivotal historical moment. If we fail it will be Hunger Games.

Jan 16, 2019 3:14 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Francis Lee

I agree about the repetition but do you want to know what I think? I think you need to play MSM and others a little bit at their own game. They don’t back anything up with evidence. They write short pieces of fiction as statements of fact. Yet they are believed.

The thing is all ‘our’ evidence is already out there just by taking a look. (e.g White Helmets will take you 15 minutes to doubt that narrative) You have an army of researchers/journalists (e.g Kit Klarenberg, Vanessa Beeley etc) posting detailed evidence out there. Alot of the independent/academic articles I read are well backed up with evidence but the problem is to someone not up to speed, is less inclined to read a long article backed up by detailed reasoning and evidence within it.

I think this article is clear and credible and prompts those new to independent thought to look at different sources of information.

So perhaps more independent writing, which is creative setting out the facts in an intelligent way as above and invite (through links) the reader to look at the evidence which is plentiful, at their leisure.

Humour is another good way of spreading the message. The CJ Hopkins piece a few days ago very effective.

John A
John A
Jan 16, 2019 5:53 AM

Putin is routinely described as a murderer and a thug in the western MSM. Again, no evidence is provided to support this. Ditto the claims he has billions syphoned away in some offshore haven.

Jan 16, 2019 8:05 AM
Reply to  John A

Whatever the truth, and I become daily more distrustful of the media that regularly attack Putin in this way, I doubt very much if his crimes in this regard come anywhere near those of Bush, Cheney, Blair, Cameron, Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Jan 16, 2019 5:57 PM
Reply to  John A

This is just routinely parroted by the MSM and equally routinely expanded upon by them. Organs like the Guardian/ BBC casually announce that Putin has stolen £40 billion (sometimes this is casually raised to £200 billion, which would make him the richest man on the planet and people like Gates/ Buffett poor as church mice by comparison.)Occasionally someone does ask for details, like bank transfers, property holdings or whatever. Nothing is ever forthcoming. All they come up with is that he has some nice Italian suits and a nice gold watch that cost him $1,200. Apart from that, these allegations must be true because some financial fraudster mate of Khordokovsky who sought refuge in the US said so. Sounds pretty convincing to us here in the MSM – what more evidence do you need? Of course Putin is just a kleptocratic thug and James Bond cartoon villain who has people murdered purely for the fun of it.

George cornell
George cornell
Jan 16, 2019 11:02 PM
Reply to  John A

Very late in the game I finally saw the documentary Icarus recently. I had passed it up because I thought I could predict that it would be rampantly dishonest, and an exercise in propaganda. It having received an Academy award seemed to be an independent confirmation of my prejudice.

Well, I was right for once. It was disgraceful, and the most common image in it was of Putin, accompanied by feeble ad hominem claims, without any counterpoints of any kind. So the core issue, cheating at the Olympics, turned out to be presented with no context at all, for the anti-Russian smear job. No mention of Balco, Carl Lewis, Marion Jones, and just a few seconds of an unidentified Lance Armstrong.

So now we see awards for propaganda. The Americans don’t do fairness or integrity, but now they don’t even pretend.

Jan 17, 2019 1:40 AM
Reply to  George cornell

They gave an Integrity in Journalism award to the Ukraine journalist who faked his own death.

Jan 16, 2019 5:53 AM

Meanwhile in the real world Iran and India Ditch the illusory U$ Petrodollar In Oil Trading.

India is the third largest oil consumer in the world, and is expected to become the largest by the year 2040. For its part, Iran will use rupees to import cheap generic pharmaceuticals and other items from India, invest in Indian businesses and pay for Iranian students in India.


Jan 16, 2019 5:57 AM
Reply to  vexarb

The mythical ‘petro-dollar’ strikes again.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Jan 16, 2019 5:39 AM

Tolkien also comes to mind here.
Us ‘hobbits’ are treated as inferior beings by the ‘Saurons’, ‘Nazguls’ and ‘Gollums’ of this world.
Gandalf ?
We’re waiting.

Jerry Alatalo
Jerry Alatalo
Jan 16, 2019 5:24 AM

It is extremely gratifying to see James O’Neill casually tear into shreds the world’s lying war criminals with his machine gun of truth.