On 1st March, Vladimir Putin gave his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow.

Unsurprisingly, one segment in particular drew the attention of the western press – the section on defence. Putin described a number of highly advanced weapons systems scheduled to come online over the next few months and years. He explained the necessity for the development of these systems, particularly since George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the ABM treaty in 2002, and went on to describe the parameters within which they would be used. In the passage below, you will see that he alludes to recent statements made by the United States, in which they have asserted their prerogative to make a first nuclear strike:

“We are greatly concerned by certain provisions of the revised nuclear posture review, which expand the opportunities for reducing and reduce the threshold for the use of nuclear arms. Behind closed doors, one may say anything to calm down anyone, but we read what is written. And what is written is that this strategy can be put into action in response to conventional arms attacks and even to a cyber-threat.

I should note that our military doctrine says Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons solely in response to a nuclear attack, or an attack with other weapons of mass destruction against the country or its allies, or an act of aggression against us with the use of conventional weapons that threaten the very existence of the state. This all is very clear and specific.

As such, I see it is my duty to announce the following. Any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies, weapons of short, medium or any range at all, will be considered as a nuclear attack on this country. Retaliation will be immediate, with all the attendant consequences.

There should be no doubt about this whatsoever. There is no need to create more threats to the world. Instead, let us sit down at the negotiating table and devise together a new and relevant system of international security and sustainable development for human civilisation. We have been saying this all along. All these proposals are still valid. Russia is ready for this”

Anyone who has followed international politics since the sixties will hear echoes of ‘mutually assured destruction (MAD)’ in this passage. I.E. “No-one can win, we will all lose, so let’s calm it down’…with the addition of what was missing for much of the cold war…”so let’s talk”.

This is not how the speech was reported in western media. Here are some of the headlines:

The Guardian: “Putin threatens US arms race with new missiles declaration”

The BBC: “Russia’s Putin unveils ‘invincible’ nuclear weapons” 

The Washington Post: “Putin just bragged about Russia’s nuclear weapons”

Of course, it is easy to understand how those outlets could draw such inferences from the speech – anyone with half a brain and a drum to bang could take any segment and extract a case for ‘Russian aggression’. However, read the whole speech, attempt to put yourself in Russia’s shoes for even a moment…and what you will notice about western coverage is an almost total lack of objectivity, intelligent analysis, or understanding. In short, our media do not attempt to see the world through the eyes of Vladimir Putin – they project their own view, which amounts to this:

He’s bad, he’s evil, and that’s the end of it…now where is the evidence for that…oh look there it is…

Take an account of almost anything that Putin says, or Russia does, and the story in our media will be a celebration of the dark arts of generalisation, deletion and distortion…and very little else.

For example:

  • Gorbachev’s original promise to step aside and allow the peaceful reunification of Germany in return for a promise that NATO would not move 1 inch to the East, is always deleted from any analysis. This is particularly helpful when spinning tales of Putin’s ‘massive’ military exercises in his own territory…which are cast as provocative rather than defensive in nature. This narrative is a blatant distortion of the strategic reality, which is revealed if you look at a map showing how NATO has systematically surrounded Russia with military bases. This one, drawn from the perspective of the North Pole, illustrates it very clearly:

  • Probably the best illustration of deletion that I have seen in a long while are the comments made by Putin to Megan Kelly of NBC in the clip below, which was cut from the version aired on NBC. Referring to dialogue with Washington about election interference Putin said the following:

“They don’t even deny it. You know what they told us last time? They said: ‘Yes, we do interfere, but we’re entitled to do it, because we’re spreading democracy, and you’re not – so you can’t do it’”

  • In terms of generalisation, over the past couple of years Putin has apparently demonstrated his evil genius by rigging the US Presidential Election, the UK decision to leave the EU, and the Italian General Election, and intervened in countless other ways, which have very conveniently limited the likelihood that westerners would realise that our elites are a collection of corrupt and/or incompetent nincompoops. Indeed, Putin is now so good at wrecking our lives that he has widened his net to include household pets:

Daft as this may be, it’s not a million miles away from Donna Brazile’s explanation of how and why presidential campaign debate questions found their way into Hillary’s briefing pack.

We are all supposed to lap up this garbage with no critical thinking of our own. Listen to any State Department Press Briefing on Russia and you’ll think you’ve been transported onto the set of a British soap opera. It’s essentially ‘He’s the evil slag who killed my cat’ translated into diplomacy-speak.

If you have any doubt about the power and persistence of this mass delusion, start to notice how many times you hear or read this:

“I am not a fan of Putin but…” or “Putin is undoubtedly evil but…” and other derivatives of the same language pattern. This is a form of ‘virtue signalling’, which is more accurately described as ‘virtue protection’. The point being that the speaker has to tell you that Putin is bad even when presenting a counter argument to the established narrative, in order to protect their own virtue. This is a clear sign of how insidious the propaganda has become – many are not consciously aware they are engaging in it, and those that are, feel it is a necessity.

So, what is happening here?

I am not a journalist, a politician, a member of a think-tank, a political analyst, or any other type of ‘expert’, real or imagined – I am a retired UK business-person with a lot of experience of the world. My primary qualification is that I am a citizen, and require no further qualification in order to challenge power.

Having read a virtual ton of ‘analysis’ by people who are supposed to be experts, I regard this as a blessing – since most of them clearly don’t think much at all. The analysis, such as it is, is more often than not blinkered, partisan nonsense, riddled with pre-supposition and sometimes blatant lies. There is a name for that stuff – propaganda. Whether it is done consciously, which it is by the sociopaths at the top of organisations like the CIA, or whether it is done unconsciously by lower level shrubs in politics and the media, the propaganda is developed something like this:

  1. You start from the action that you wish to justify – eg. a regime change
  2. Identify what ‘public mood’ will produce support for that action – eg. fear
  3. Create a set of alleged motives for your ‘opponent’ which will create that ‘mood’ in the population – eg. he wants to destroy our way of life
  4. Select and/or fabricate ‘evidence’ to demonstrate those motives – eg. he’s rigging our elections
  5. Present the narrative to the public…in reverse order…to make the story appear logical, reasonable and even ‘scientific’

This is not peculiar to politicians. It’s essentially what ‘economists’ do to justify the idiocy of Central Banking in general and QE in particular. It’s what the US and the UK have been doing for decades. It’s poison…very clever poison…very effective poison…but poison nonetheless.  The good news is that when you become aware of the pattern being played out repeatedly…it becomes transparent:

Over the past thirty years Washington and London have been running a regime change strategy we may call ‘The Evil Man’. They have used it to great effect on Iraq (Saddam Hussein) and on Libya (Muammar Gaddafi). It is currently being used on North Korea (Kim Jong-Un) and on Syria (Bashar al-Assad).  Most disturbingly of all, it is being used to demonise Vladimir Putin. This is incredibly dangerous. Not because he knows what’s happening – they all do by the way – but because he has the wherewithal to push back in equal measure. Given how stupid, arrogant and greedy the Military Industrial Complex has become, they could push this situation to a point of escalation that cannot be stopped. Read Putin’s speech – it’s as clear as day that he knows what’s happening and what it could lead to. And note this – he’s the one saying ‘let’s stop this before it goes too far’

In terms of the ‘The Evil Man’ strategy, here is a short clip of Swiss historian Danielle Ganser, explaining it beautifully:

As I write this we are in the midst of the ‘Skripal Poisoning’ enquiry, or more accurately, lack of enquiry. Personally, I don’t buy Theresa May’s certainty – not for one moment. You could drive a 1970’s Buick through the ‘evidence’ being put forward, which is really nothing more than another exercise in ‘Putin did it’. The best summation of the state of play, that I have seen thus far, comes from Craig Murray, historian and former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan:

  1. Porton Down has acknowledged in publications it has never seen any Russian “novichoks”. The UK government has absolutely no “fingerprint” information such as impurities that can safely attribute this substance to Russia.
  2. Until now, neither Porton Down nor the world’s experts at the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were convinced “Novichoks” even exist.
  3. The UK is refusing to provide a sample to the OPCW.
  4. “Novichoks” were specifically designed to be able to be manufactured from common ingredients on any scientific bench. The Americans dismantled and studied the facility that allegedly developed them. It is completely untrue only the Russians could make them, if anybody can.
  5. The “Novichok” programme was in Uzbekistan not in Russia. Its legacy was inherited by the Americans during their alliance with Karimov, not by the Russians.

This ‘story’ will evolve – of course it will. No-one can be sure of what will come up, but since all we really have at this stage are ‘opinions’, here’s mine, albeit restricted to 280 characters and a couple of pictures:

Finally, let me say this: I have no personal animosity towards individual journalists who peddle this crap. I don’t know them personally. They may have been ‘duped’, they may have been ‘persuaded’, they may be ‘assets’. I don’t know on an individual basis.

What I do know is this: a war-mongering mind-set has taken hold in governments, in our security services, and increasingly in the military…a mind-set that the media is drip-feeding into the population.  On that score, I am personally committed to exposing this mind-set for what it is: whether it is print media hacks with their whitewashing of the US funding of al-Qaeda and the White helmet ‘psyop’; or whether it is the televisual media that parrots the governmental line on anything Putin says, does, or doesn’t do…I will not sit quietly by whilst these sociopaths and morons take us to war…again.

To my fellow citizens I say this: Make up your own mind – don’t blindly believe me or anyone else; and for God’s sake don’t let the government and the media make up your mind for you.

To politicians and the media, I say this: I haven’t forgotten Iraq even if you have. If you think for one moment that I’m going follow you down the warpath on the basis of zero evidence or blatant ‘bullshit’ – it’s never going to happen. Either tell the truth, or get out.



MarkGB is a retired UK businessperson with 35 years experience of working with people from 30 countries and six continents. He is not a member of any political party and does not represent any vested interests. He offers an independent view on economic and political events as they unfold.

Mark’s blog is www.MarkGB.com & you can find him on Twitter @MarkGBblog

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24 thoughts on “The demonisation of Vladimir Putin

  1. So true what is written here, wars are made to happen, but what can joe ordinary man do? We have no power to stop these monsters called polititions. Most normal people just want live in peace not go and fight. I say if you are young don’t join the army, don’t go fighting. If you get called up, don’t go. If you are a mercinary, stop and think. money is not everything. Go home and get a life and allow others to live.

    1. Yes John!
      I remember when Muhammad Ali refused to go to Vietnam, he was utterly reviled by the American public & sentenced to 5 years in jail. 4 years later, after endless appeals, the Supreme Court threw out the conviction…because by then the public had caught up with the fact that America should never have been there in the first place, every campus in the land was out on the streets…and finally…Washington started to smell the coffee. Positive change happens DESPITE politicians, not because of them.

  2. As an expat American, who has lived abroad for over 30 years and traveled to not nearly as many countries as MarkGB, I agree completely with this narrative. As a US citizen, I am however ostracized in the States for expressing such a perspective – especially from the supposed ‘educated’ class. I have little hope that the Americans will soon awaken from their blissful ignorance, but I certainly hope that the Europeans will see through these ever increasingly dangerous nonsensical assertions, which lesser minds accept as facts.

  3. I’m not convinced Theresa May has the faintest idea what is going on. I don’t believe she has the acting ability to present such an entirely false narrative (on the Skripal poisoning incident) if she understood half of what she says.

    She is a barely credible mouthpiece for an agenda which she is not party to. Boris Johnson interviewed by John (Barry – what a comedian !) Humphries yesterday on the Today programme on Radio 4 was barely coherent. So he’s not in the loop either.

    I shudder to contemplate the consequences of Brexit pushing the UK further into a corrupt alliance with the US and willing puppet in its malign foreign policy objectives.

  4. For the averaged frustrated citizen of the west, there are very real personal and professional consequences to dissenting from the mainstream narrative.

    On the other hand, going along with the narrative does not damage us personally, and in some cases (Luke Harding, I am looking at you!) can even be quite rewarding.

    If you want to know where “Good Germans” came from and how they were made, this is it.

  5. Sid, completely agree with you. I have totally given up with attempting to discuss this, which unfortunately consigns me to reading articles like this alone and in frustration. My seemingly educated friends often “debate” the Ruskies – by regurgitating the BBC (other “news” sources are available) line that they’re the worst thing to happen since they found out Santa wasn’t real.

    It’s truely a terrible state of affairs and I really worry that before long we’ll be dragged into a war we don’t want to fight. I’ll be collecting my white feathers as I walk down the street/through the prison courtyard and wearing them with pride. Not my war.

    1. I sympathise with your frustration…and…there are a growing number of people who know deep down that they are being fed manure. As more people speak out, the tide will gather strength. Keep on truckin’
      Best wishes

    2. We should start our own Me too campaign. I am dumbfounded with the apathy I am surrounded by. I am accused of being a conspiracy theorist for daring to question everything I read or hear from the mainstream media.
      We should try and understand what is the motive for this latest attack against Putin.
      Is it a blatant attempt to prevent Brexit, or a distraction from the coming economic collapse? Probably both!

      1. Ha! That old saw! There’s nothing theoretical about conspiracies:

        Conspiracy: “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful”
        Evidential: Govts commit secret, unlawful & harmful acts on a regular basis & sometimes get ‘caught’
        Conclusion: An intelligent question is not ‘Do they lie?’, but ‘Are they lying on this occasion?’

        As for ‘motive’ there could be a few. It’s certainly a bad time to cause trouble for Russia just before the World Cup, and if the Americans do attack Syria in the next few days, the increased level of hatred for Putin won’t do them any harm either.

        Whatever…it’s ‘evil’ & it’s getting worse.

  6. The search has been on for the ‘bogey man’ to point fingers at ever since 1989…it only took the Americans a matter of months to find a new one in Hussein. Since then it’s been one shifting foe after another (“Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia”…) until we’ve alighted (led by the ‘Murcans again of course – strangely though the ‘lefties’ more than the GOP) upon the Russians again. Full circle in less than three decades. Yowza!

    One thing’s for sure – the optimism that surrounded the fall of the wall has been crushed and ground into the dust.

    All that chance of peace just no good for profits, is all. Even Ike told us that a long time ago.

  7. Putin is the good guy, I am not saying he is not linked to the mafia, all the idiots in America are, they are all linked to the deep state.
    Any one who thinks that this poison in the uk is Russia, look to mi6 and the cia, you might be nearly the truth the drug cartels are run by the cia, how does that grab you.

  8. Ok, the Brits are apparently about as ‘level-headed’ as the yanks. So sad to see the emotional, knee-jerk reaction supporting such diatribe….is Corbyn the only sane UK politician? Doesn’t anyone recognize the reasons and potential developments? Ukraine, Syria, Iran….Watch the lemmings one by one…the soldiers will soon be marching again. Only this time it will be the Brits and Yanks as the mindless goose-stepping sycophants who blindly follow their manipulative regimes. They are all so gleeful and willfully ignorant as they run to the doom of us all, that they themselves create.

  9. I can add little other than to restate what we all know: Psychopaths, by their nature, gravitate towards positions of power and are well represented within our political, military and financial class; supported and enabled by the Main Stream “News” media. Our Education and Election systems are designed to prevent any meaningful change. While it is helpful for me to be reminded that I am not alone in my world view it doesn’t feel that way during my daily living. Thank you Renegade, Mark and for each contribution.

  10. Thanks Nick
    I know what you mean about not feeling like that in daily living. Twitter is even worse. I can be feeling very calm and centred…and then 5 minutes of twitter later…and I’m suicidal!
    Happy Easter

  11. I can remember feeling very lonely being one of the (seemingly) few to oppose the Falklands “conflict”.

    It seems that this is May’s “Falklands Factor”. And people still fall for this garbage.

    “What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    I learned our government must be strong.
    It’s always right and never wrong.
    Our leaders are the finest men.
    And we elect them again and again….”

    [women too of course…]

    Acknowledgement to Tom Paxton “What Did You Learn in School Today?”

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