The Corporate Media Complicity in Distraction: Bob Dole’s body and Ukraine

My television is on TCM to avoid watching the celebrity orgy going on over the body of Bob Dole.  I would encourage people to think about the amount of time wasted on this coverage, and the amount of money that has been spent moving Dole’s body around, mourning over Bob Dole’s body, securing the celebrity political elite as they gather to engaging this absurd ritual. 

Bob Dole is part of the Republican infrastructure that set the groundwork for the political disaster we are currently in.  Why anybody would want to celebrate or mourn over his dead body is just beyond my comprehension.

Also, there is a world out there, a world that is rapidly becoming inhabitable while a useless and feckless elite dresses up and plays their part on this ridiculous celebrity exercise.

I just cannot fathom the insularity of the bubble that allows these people to think that regular people care about watching every minute of this display. 

While Rome burns, the political elite and the corporate media engage in this side show.  Part of the narrative is that Bob Dole belonged to a more “bipartisan” and statesmanlike era.  The Democrats showing up at this display are supposed to be given credit for their bigness of heart for mourning a member of the Republican Party.  It is all absurd.

So while Russian troops mass on the border with Ukraine (to mention just one ongoing crisis) the political elite and the corporate media play dress up and try to convince the American people that they are 1) useful, 2) important, and relevant.  THEY ARE NOT.

If we had a functioning media, we would have already known that Putin and the Russian oligarchy were bent on taking back Ukraine into the Russian sphere of influence.  But, instead, we are talking about Chris Christie’s new book and every minute action taken by an investigative committee designed to make a lot of noise and do nothing about a coup attempt.

When I started listening to podcasts about Ukraine, I was astounded. 

Specifically, commentators were talking about a public stance taken by Putin and the Russian government earlier in the year which made it evident to anybody with a brain that Russia was gong to retake Ukraine, or at least threaten to do so in order to gain concessions that wouldn’t have been even thought about otherwise.

The public stance is argued in an article, purportedly written by Putin:

“On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians.” 

You can read the entire article here:

This is a long, convoluted article full of historical argument that I cannot even begin to follow and I suspect is half concocted.  The jest of the argument is this:

  • Russians and Ukrainians are “one people.
  • The “wall that has emerged” between the two countries has been constructed by enemies to divide what is “essentially the same historical and spiritual space.”
  • This division is a “tragedy.”
  • Belief in this division is a “consequence(s) of our own mistakes” and also based on “deliberate efforts by those forces that have always sought to undermine our unity.”
  • This is an effort to “pit the parts of a single people against one another.”
  • This promotion of division is also an attack on “the Orthodox faith.”
  • Putin argues that a belief in Ukraine as an independent nation state, “Ukrainization” has been often “imposed on those who did not see themselves as Ukrainians.”
  •  Modern Ukraine, Putin argues is “entirely the product of the Soviet era.”
  • Ukraine was created as a unit within the Soviet Union that was at the same time distinct, but part of the whole.  It was never intended to be a separate entity.  The very identification of Ukraine as distinct came from Soviet designation.
  • Putin continues: “we know and remember well that it (Ukraine) was shaped…on the lands of historical Russia.”
  • Putin then launches on an attack on Bolsheviks: “…Bolsheviks treated the Russian people as inexhaustible material for their social experiments. They dreamt of a world revolution that would wipe out national states. That is why they were so generous in drawing borders and bestowing territorial gifts. It is no longer important what exactly the idea of the Bolshevik leaders who were chopping the country into pieces was. We can disagree about minor details, background and logics behind certain decisions. One fact is crystal clear: Russia was robbed, indeed.”
  • So, evidently, the Bolsheviks intent on “a world revolution that would wipe out national states” was “generous” in drawing borders that they never intended to be real. 
  • Putin then claims that his “analysis is based on well-known facts rather than on some secret records.”  I have no idea what this even means.
  • Putin continues: “The leaders of modern Ukraine and their external ”patrons“ prefer to overlook these facts. They do not miss a chance, however, both inside the country and abroad, to condemn ”the crimes of the Soviet regime,“ listing among them events with which neither the CPSU, nor the USSR, let alone modern Russia, have anything to do. At the same time, the Bolsheviks’ efforts to detach from Russia its historical territories are not considered a crime. And we know why: if they brought about the weakening of Russia, our ill-wishes are happy with that.”
  • Then, Putin chides Ukraine: “You want to establish a state of your own: you are welcome! But what are the terms?”  This is a threat, a dressed up threat, but a threat.
  • Quoting the first mayor of Saint Petersburg, Putin writes: “the republics that were founders of the Union, having denounced the 1922 Union Treaty, must return to the boundaries they had had before joining the Soviet Union. All other territorial acquisitions are subject to discussion, negotiations, given that the ground has been revoked.”
  • So, Putin is claiming that any people wanting independence must return to borders determined to be valid by the Russian oligarchy.  You want independence?  Fine, but you must accept independence of a territory defined (unquestionably smaller) by Russia.
  • Then, Putin begins the characteristic victim blaming rhetoric.  Russia tried to support Ukraine  The Russian Federation “provided considerable support to Ukraine,” because this is a “single economic system.”
  • But, the ungrateful Ukrainians bragged and promised a lot but now cannot deliver. 
  • “Ukraine is Europe’s poorest country.”
  • Putin continues with the rewriting of events of 2014.  “Even after the events in Kiev of 2014, I charged the Russian government to elaborate options for preserving and maintaining our economic ties within relevant ministries and agencies. However, there was and is still no mutual will to do the same. Nevertheless, Russia is still one of Ukraine’s top three trading partners, and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are coming to us to work, and they find a welcome reception and support. So that is what the aggressor state is.”
  • “Nor were the interests of the Ukrainian people thought of in February 2014. The legitimate public discontent, caused by acute socio-economic problems, mistakes, and inconsistent actions of the authorities of the time, was simply cynically exploited. Western countries directly interfered in Ukraine’s internal affairs and supported the coup. Radical nationalist groups served as its battering ram. Their slogans, ideology, and blatant aggressive Russophobia have to a large extent become defining elements of state policy in Ukraine.”
  • “It would not be an exaggeration to say that the path of forced assimilation, the formation of an ethnically pure Ukrainian state, aggressive towards Russia, is comparable in its consequences to the use of weapons of mass destruction against us. As a result of such a harsh and artificial division of Russians and Ukrainians, the Russian people in all may decrease by hundreds of thousands or even millions.”

What Putin is arguing here is that the West and Ukrainians have attacked Russia, essentially used the equivalent of “weapons of mass destruction against us (Russia).”  Therefore, the invasion of Ukraine is an act of self-defense.

But, we need to spend 48 hours of corporate media time listening to empty, self-serving rhetoric about Bob Dole.

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