Category: Alerts 2014
- Created on 10 March 2014
- 10 March 2014
By David Cromwell and David Edwards
Exactly what is happening in Ukraine is not easy to disentangle from corporate news media reports. The current crisis began last November when the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, withdrew from a cooperation agreement with the European Union to forge closer ties with Russia. As Peter Oborne notes:
'Up to that point, the West had concealed any distaste for Yanukovych. Thereafter, we [sic] started to ally ourselves with the protesters against his regime.'
These included 'a group of violent and unpleasant Right-wing parties'. Three months of violent protests followed in Kiev. On February 22, Yanukovych suddenly fled Kiev and the pro-Western opposition took power. Peter Schwarz and David North write that:
'the United States and Germany instigated the crisis in Ukraine, installing a right-wing nationalist regime completely subservient to Washington and NATO, with the intention of provoking a confrontation with Russia. [...] American warplanes have been dispatched to the Baltics and US warships have entered the Black Sea.'
Within days of the coup, troops loyal to Russia took control of Crimea, the peninsula in the south of Ukraine. Later, on March 6, the Crimean parliament asked Moscow to become part of Russia, which it had been in the past (Crimea was transferred from Russia to Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, in 1954).
The motives and actions of the various factions involved, and the rapidity of developments, make 'the story' difficult to follow; certainly as presented by the 'mainstream' media. But one unchanging and reliable factor is that BBC News sticks to a propaganda framework which reflects the values and priorities of the UK government and wider Western power.
For example, there was repeated headline coverage given to the deceptive rhetoric of Foreign Secretary William Hague:
'We have to recognise the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine has been violated, and this cannot be a way to conduct international affairs.'
Or, even more galling, US Secretary of State John Kerry:
'You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.'
But when it came to purported 'analysis' by senior BBC correspondents, such as Bridget Kendall and John Simpson, nobody made any reference to the West's invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. Not a single BBC journalist, as far as we know, pointed out the hypocrisy displayed by Hague and Kerry. And not even just hypocrisy; but something bordering on contempt for public memory and understanding of recent historical events.
For BBC News to be a prime mover in this sham tells us much that we need to know about the BBC's propaganda role.