A Tradition of Slander Against Russia
By Manuel E. Yepe
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Exclusive to the daily Por Esto! of Merida, Mexico. http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/
A rich journalistic work by Edward S. Herman, was published by Monthly Review in its July-August 2017 issue. It provides abundant information about the campaign to demonize Russia that has been a central goal of the New York Times (NYT) and the United States media as a whole for a century.
False news about Russia is a tradition that goes back, at least, to the period of the October 1917 Revolution. In a study of New York Times and the mainstream US media (MSM) coverage, of the Russian revolution, the then-prestigious journalists Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz, both conservatives, wrote in March 1920 New that, “from the point of view of professional journalism, the disclosure about the Russian revolution has been little What a disaster “.
Lippmann and Merz showed the strong editorial bias in the news as evidence that the editors wanted the defeat of the Communists. In pursuit of that impression, they denounced atrocities that had not happened and predicted the imminent collapse of the Bolsheviks at least 91 times. There was an uncritical acceptance by the official parties, and confidence in the statements of some unidentified “higher authorities”.
This lying manipulation of the news became usual practice in the NYT between 1917 and 1920 was often repeated in subsequent years. The Soviet Union became the enemy target until World War II, and the NYT was always hostile to Russia. At the end of World War II, and since the Soviet Union was an important military power that would soon be a rival of the United States in the use of nuclear energy for military purposes, the Cold War began.
According to Edward S. Herman, Professor Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania, “Anti-communism became the American religion and the Soviet Union began to be accused of aspiring to conquer the world and in to be in need of containment. With this ideology set out and well-established by US plans for its own global expansion, the Communist threat would now serve to justify the sustained growth of its military-industrial complex and its repeated interventions to counter the alleged aggressions of the so-called “evil empire”.
One of the first and most flagrant cases of lies about this type of Russian threat was used to justify the overthrow of Guatemala’s legitimate progressive government in 1954. This was conducted by a mercenary army funded, organized and led by the United States that invaded the country from Nicaragua, then ruled by the dictatorship of the Somozas, who were faithful servants of the United States.
Herman explains that “the action was prompted by the reforms of the government of Jacobo Arbenz which had the audacity to pass a law that allowed the formation of trade unions, and planned to buy (based on their tax declarations) and distribute to farmers some untilled land that was owned by United Fruit and other large landowners. The United States, which had supported the previous dictatorship of Jose Ubico during its 14 years, could not withstand this democratic challenge. The elected government, led by Jacobo Arbenz, was immediately accused of a series of evil deeds, and harassed for having favored taking the Guatemalan government down the Moscow road.
After Arbenz’s overthrow, a right-wing dictatorship faithful to Washington’s dictates in the country was installed. Historian Ronald Schneider, after studying more than 50,000 documents seized from purportedly-communist sources in Guatemala. He demonstrated before a court that, not only had the Communists never controlled the country, but the Soviet Union was too preoccupied with its internal problems to care about Central America.
In 2011, more than half a century later, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom had to apologize for the “great crime of the violent overthrow of the Arbenz government in 1954 …”. However, there has never been an apology or even recognition by the United States of its role In the great crime, nor by the NYT’s editors for their complicity. During the war against Vietnam, there was an infinite number of false and misleading news stories in the NYT, as in the American press in general, whose editorial lines were systematically supportive of the politics of war.
The situation recently created around alleged links with Russia in the Trump campaign indicates that the Pentagon, the CIA, the liberal Democrats and the rest of the members of the war party have won a major skirmish in the fight for or against permanent war, says Herman.
July 20, 2017.