The European Union has decided to ban media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik from spreading “disinformation harmful to Europe.”
The “paragon of democracy” won’t explain why it has flouted its own Charter (Article 11) or the legal basis of its action. And whatever happened to “freedom of press”?
The European Union has also not presented specific instances when these two outlets resorted to “lies”.
Every story has two sides to it. If Europe is looking for lasting peace, there is a fundamental need for its citizens to hear both sides of the story. Even Courts don’t do it—only despots do. Does Vladimir Putin has done the same to BBC or New York Times which the other day was jumping up and down on “freedom of press” at a raid on an Indian journalist over an alleged fraud?
If there was a “plurality of information”, you would’ve known that the United States bombed Somalia the very day Russia began its military operations in Ukraine.
If we had access to version of the other side, we would’ve known that Iraq didn’t have Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and the US was anything but “liberators of Iraq.”
Why Iraq. Same happened to Libyans who had their leader raped to death. Or Syria. Yemen. Afghanistan…But we wouldn’t have known.
All of them were “sovereign nations.” United Nations was a corpse on feet, like it is today. But we must shake in anger at the violation of Ukraine.
Only, if we had known that just preceding Russia’s action, Donetsk and Luhansk suffered 1,400 shell and mortar detonations (February 18). Some 2,000 explosions over the next two days. That Ukrainian forces heavily outnumbered the two little regions (125,000 to 50,000). And this is from Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) data, one of EU’s own!
All this was meant to depopulate Donetsk and Luhansk. You may not believe the claim of DPR that 700,000 of its people had begun leaving their homes and hearth. For you won’t hear the International Red Cross observers that attack on Donetsk’s water supply system affected a million inhabitants.
Russia of course could’ve ignored the cry of help from Donetsk and Luhansk. It could’ve opened its borders for fleeing humanity and invited a refugee crisis. It could’ve ignored if nuclear missiles had just been brought to their doorsteps. But they are the aggressors, eyeing little Ukraine, which they could’ve gobbled up in 2014 itself rather than trusting the Minsk agreement.
The plurality of information could’ve told us that European Union has been the biggest donor of arms aid to Ukraine between 2014-2017. A 2018 Chatham House report tells us that EU gave $1.8 billion to Kiev for “development assistance.” The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tells us that between 2014-2017, US gave $926 million to Ukraine.
When the much reviled Donald Trump was impeached for withholding some $400 million military aid to Ukraine, Democrat Adam Schiff, a war-monger like few, the darling of NYT, Washington Post etc, berated the ex-US president, as “Ukraine is to fight Russia over there” in 2020. Today, when it happens, he is outraged at this violation of “rules-based world order.”
If we had access to freedom of information, we had known that a Ukrainian arms dealer named Igor Pasternak held a $2,500 head fundraiser for Schiff in 2013. Soon after, the State Department approved some extremely profitable deal for Pasternak under the Obama Administration.
Donations from war industry—your Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Radiance etc—have abounded. Guess what these companies wanted? War with Russia on Ukraine. Now that when it looks a real thing, they are exhorting the “free world” against a “despot.”
The West now has an excuse to rearm Ukraine to teeth. The longer this Russian operation lasts, the better would be its chances to shape public opinion. Never mind if they have to show a 10-year-old fake video of a child standing up to a Russian soldier; or an Ukrainian embracing a Russian, equally fake. Endlessly they would put on loop of an Ukrainian mother embracing her kid in front of a ravaged building and emotionally trick the citizenry. Dead Ukrainian soldiers would become martyrs to the cause.
And we would swallow for we would’ve just one side of story. Victims of propaganda; denied the other side.