Friday October 14, 2016
It would be monumental, but Western states seem to be moving, ineluctably, towards banning Russian news media channels from satellite platforms and the internet. That outcome – albeit with enormous ethical and political implications – seems to be a logical conclusion of the increasingly frenzied transatlantic campaign to demonize Russia.
Washington, London and Paris appear to be coordinating an unprecedented media onslaught that is vilifying Russia for almost every conceivable malfeasance, from alleged war crimes in Syria to threatening the security of Europe, to shooting down civilian airliners, to subverting American presidential elections. And that’s only a sample.
British foreign secretary Boris Johnson declared this week that Russia is in danger of becoming a “pariah state.” Ironically, that fate has less to do with Russia’s actual conduct and more to do with the desired objective driving Western policy towards Moscow – to isolate and portray Russia as an international reprobate.
If Russia can be sufficiently demonized in the eyes of the Western public by their governments, then the political context is created for drastic measures, which would otherwise be seen as unacceptable infringements of democratic rights. Measures that go way beyond economic sanctions and into the realm of media censorship. How weird is that? The “free world” which deplores “Russian authoritarianism” moving towards media censorship and policing what it deems as “thought-crime.”