It Is the mass media’s job to help suppress anti-war movements

Mar 4, 2023
Expression mixed media.

In a new article titled “European antiwar protests gain strength as NATO’s Ukraine proxy war escalates,,” The Grayzone’s Stavroula Pabst and Max Blumenthal document the many large demonstrations that have been occurring in France, the UK, Germany, Greece, Spain, the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium and elsewhere opposing the western empire’s brinkmanship with Russia and proxy warfare in Ukraine.

Pabst and Blumenthal conclude their report with a denouncement of the way the western media have either been ignoring or sneering at these protests while actively cheerleading smaller demonstrations in support of arming Ukraine.

“When Western media has not ignored Europe’s antiwar protest wave altogether, its coverage has alternated between dismissive and contemptuous,” they write. “German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle sneeringly characterised the February 25 demonstration in Berlin as ‘‘naive’ while providing glowing coverage to smaller shows of support for the war by the Ukrainian diaspora. The New York Times, for its part, mentioned the European protests in just a single generic line buried in an article on minuscule anti-Putin protests held by Russian emigres.”

This bias is of course blatantly propagandistic, which won’t surprise anyone who understands that the mainstream western media exist first and foremost to administer propaganda on behalf of the US-centralised empire. And chief among their propaganda duties is to suppress the emergence of a genuine peace movement.

As we’ve discussed previously, it has never in human history been more urgent to have a massive, forceful protest movement in opposition to the empire’s rapidly accelerating trajectory toward a global conflict against Russia and China. Other peace movements have arisen in the past in response to horrific wars which would go on to claim millions of lives, but a world war in the Atomic Age could easily wind up killing billions, and must never be allowed to happen.

And yet the public is not treating this unparalleled threat with the urgency it deserves. A few protests here and there is great, but it’s not nearly enough. And the reason the people have not answered the call is because the mass media have been successfully propagandising them into accepting the continuous escalations toward world war that we’ve been seeing.

People aren’t going to protest what their government is doing if they believe that what their government is doing is appropriate, and the only reason so many people believe what their government is doing with regard to Russia and China is appropriate is because they have been propagandised into thinking so.

The mass media are not telling the public about the many well-documented western provocations which led to the war in Ukraine and sabotaged peace at every turn; they’re just telling everyone that Putin invaded because he’s an evil Hitler sequel who loves killing and hates freedom. The mass media are not telling the public about the way the US empire has been encircling China with war machinery in ways it would never permit itself to be encircled while deliberately staging incendiary provocations in Taiwan;; they’re just telling everyone that China is run by evil warmongering tyrants. The mass media are not reminding the public that after the fall of the Soviet Union the US empire espoused a doctrine asserting that the rise of any foreign superpower must be prevented at all cost; they’re letting that agenda fade into the memory hole.

Because people believe Russia and China are the sole aggressors and the US and its allies are only responding defensively to those unprovoked aggressions, they don’t see the need for a mass protest movement against their own governments. If you tell the average coastal American liberal that you’re holding a protest about the war in Ukraine, they’re going to assume you mean you’re protesting against Putin, and they’ll look at you strangely if you tell them you’re actually protesting your own government’s aggressions.

The narrative that Russia and China are acting with unprovoked aggression actually prevents peace, because if your government isn’t doing anything to make things worse, then there’s nothing it can change about its own behaviour to make them better. But of course there is a massive, massive amount that the western power alliance can change about its own behaviour with regard to Russia and China that would greatly improve matters. Instead of working to subordinate the entire planet to the will of Washington and its drivers, they can work toward de-escalation, diplomacy and detente.

We’re not going to get de-escalation, diplomacy and detente unless the people use the power of their numbers to demand those things, and the people are not going to use the power of their numbers to demand those things as long as they are successfully propagandised not to. This means propaganda is the ultimate problem that needs to be addressed. Ordinary people can only address it by waking the public up to the fact that the political/media class are lying to them about what’s happening with Russia and China, using whatever means we have access to.

So that’s what we need to do. We need to fight the imperial disinformation campaign using information. Tell people the truth using every medium available to us to sow distrust in the imperial propaganda machine,, because propaganda only works if you don’t know it’s happening to you.

Our rulers are always babbling about how they’re fighting an “information war” against enemy nations, but in reality they’re fighting an information war against normal westerners like us. So we must fight back. We need to cripple public trust in the propaganda machine and begin awakening one another from our propaganda-induced sleep, so that we can begin organising against the horrific end they are driving us toward.


First published by Caitlin Johnstone March 1, 2023

Caitlin Johnstone is a reader-supported independent journalist from Melbourne, Australia. Her political writings can be found on Medium.

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