Friday December 24, 2021
We need to constantly remind ourselves about the US media. During the Cold War, there was the saying that the difference between the New York Times and the Soviet Pravda was that Pravda readers knew they were being lied to. Unfortunately, current coverage by the US media about the movement of Russian troops demonstrates the applicability of that saying today.
Lies by Omission
For example, the US public is continually being told that the movement of a large number of Russian troops is a major crisis-inducing provocation of the US and NATO over Ukraine. There is much speculation about whether or not Russia will attack Ukraine and how the US and NATO should react to an attack. This coverage portrays Russia as the initiator of this situation and that the US and NATO are being forced to react. Unsurprisingly, the US media fails to remind the public about recent history that provides vital context for current events.
Promise and Betrayal
After the fall of the Berlin Wall there were negotiations about the reunification of Germany. During these negotiations, the US Secretary of State James Baker and West German officials promised that NATO would not expand eastward if the Soviets allowed Germany to be reunited. This promise was crucial for the Soviets given previous devastating invasions by Western European nations. For example, during WWII, estimates are that the Soviet Union lost over 26 million people, about 13% of its 1939 population. The Soviet Union was thus understandably concerned about a possibly hostile military group coming closer to its border.