The war of words between the US and Russia has been fueled, if not orchestrated by media that has gone beyond “slanting” or even censoring the news. Newspapers, in this case the UK Daily Mail, are full-fledged combatants. If a broader conflict ensues, and this seems to be the goal of a carefully orchestrated media psychological war, the “fourth estate” will have become something much greater than any “fifth column.”
In a story published today in Britain and copied and republished around the world, the impression is given that the United States has authorized a ground attack on Russia based on recent accusations made against Russia. An article in a British newspaper outlines statements made by the top NATO commander indicating he intends to attack Russia and has been given full authority, not just by NATO but by the President of the United States, Joint Chiefs of Staff and Congress.
Not one word of this is true. In fact, the story is filled with bizarre conspiracies, misstatements of fact and systematic deception. Were this story taken in its own context, attributing it as part of a larger psychological warfare operation, as “black propaganda,” is fully supportable.
PATTERN OF ABUSE
In recent months, these and similar stories, hoaxes describing NATO armies in Jordan or US and NATO backed “no fly zones” over Syria have been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Huffington Post, Washington Post and Newsweek/Daily Beast.
Not only are all totally false but these stories represent a pattern of purposeful deception, invariably attributing the threat of US military forces to conflicts the Obama administration and Secretary of State John Kerry have decided to “sit out” while seeking diplomatic solutions.
Today’s story is another of these, perhaps the most dangerous thus far.
The problem is that no such statement by NATO commander General Philip Breedlove was ever made, no such authorizations were given and the entire story was, in fact, invented by the British media. The world has been brought to the brink of war, yet another time, by news media falsifying stories, misquoting officials and simply fabricating news.
The story outlining US and NATO plans to attack Russia are a complete and total hoax.
Today, the UK Daily Mail, a newspaper with strong connections to Israeli interests, published an article quoting General Philip Breedlove, the American commander of all NATO military forces, as threatening Russia with a “ground attack” by the United States.
In an article under the headline, “U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove threatens war with Vladimir Putin,” The Daily Mail outlined the American plan to declare war on Russia on the basis of claims made by the Kiev military junta.
The Daily Mail goes further:
“Ukrainian military spokesmen said rebel missile fire on the buses had caused an unknown number of casualties.
The attack came as NATO’s top commander warned Putin that the alliance would respond militarily if Russia infiltrates its soldiers into an alliance member country it did when it seized Crimea.”
However, when we carefully read the story, General Breedlove, “NATO’s top commander” never says anything of the kind. In fact, the story is a total concoction based on pieces of mistranslated and unattributed statements and purposeful falsehoods.
WHAT BREEDLOVE SAID
The UK Daily Mail never interviews General Breedlove; in fact they were unable to support the conclusions of their article whatsoever. This is what a careful read of the article actually found, placed near the bottom of their article under 13 photographs and, in the online version, two videos as well:
“U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, spoke as the Kremlin is accused by Kiev of infiltrating its troops and weapons into Lugansk and Donetsk regions where retreating pro-separatist rebels still control sizeable territory.
Moscow strongly denies the claims.
Late-night talks near Berlin involving the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine, Sergei Lavrov and Pavlo Klimkin, were described as ‘difficult’ but with ‘some progress’ made.
In an interview with Die Welt, Breedlove expressed the fear that Russian troops wearing unmarked uniforms – dubbed ‘little green men’ when they were deployed in Crimea – could be used in NATO countries with Russian-speaking populations.
‘If we see these actions taking place in a NATO nation and we are able to attribute them to an aggressor nation, that is Article 5. Now, it is a military response,’ he said.
Close examination of this paragraph, hidden inside the UK Mail article worded to give the world the impression that war is imminent, find a number of errors and inconsistencies:
- The Ukraine is not a NATO country. The idea that General Breedlove, head of NATO’s military forces would be unaware of this, as are the staff of Die Welt and the UK Daily Mail, is more than slightly unlikely.
- Breedlove, in fact, never refers to Russia and in his reference to “Article 5,” only makes a broad statement that in no way relates to the Ukraine, a nation that is not covered by Article 5.
- The interview quoted was with “Die Welt,” or “The World,” a German language paper, date, place and names of interviewers was withheld.
- The use of quotation marks around the term “little green men,” was never attributed to General Breedlove and is, in no way, included in the context of any statement tied to NATO military action, if anything, quite the opposite.
WILD ABUSE OF CONTEXT
Perhaps the strangest inference of all is that referring to “little green men.” Without the support of a quote of any kind, a mysterious conspiracy theory is set forward. According to the UK Daily Mail’s interpretation of Die Welt’s interview, General Breedlove was, in fact, not discussing the situation in the Ukraine at all.
Breedlove seemingly is referring to one or more unnamed NATO countries with Russian speaking populations that, according to the article, he believes will be invaded by “little green men.” The problem being, there are no NATO nations with significant Russian speaking populations.
Thus, the scenario outlined in the interview, unsupported by any context, refers to a hypothetical situation that, in NATO as it now exists, is both bizarre and patently hysterical.
The UK Daily Mail is generally considered a safe source for global media to quote from. When as story such as this, a sensationalized “call to war” is heralded as an “exclusive,” the UK Daily Mail is using its editorial power and reputation to influence events.
In this case, they have been caught fabricating a story intended to increase international tensions, and, in particular, influence financial markets. Taken simply, knowing they planned a hoax of this type, anyone with advance knowledge could make millions on the fluctuations in the oil and currency markets that this kind of “yellow journalism” is generally intended to bring about.
Some will look on this and see the UK Daily Mail pushing the world to the brink of destruction. Others may see something else. We may well see a newspaper robbing a bank without a mask and gun. I suspect this isn’t the first time.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.