Effort reminiscent of CIA’s Radio Free Europe during Cold War
May 2, 2014
The United States is working closely with members of the NATO club in Eastern Europe to help the junta in Ukraine better manage its propaganda effort, U.S. News & World Report said on Thursday.
“We are starting some projects together with others, understanding the time factor is of the essence,” Janis Sarts, the state secretary of defense in Latvia, told the news magazine. Asked if the plan includes sending troops and trainers to Ukraine, Sarts said, “Yes. I think that would help.” He added the United States is currently involved in discussions.
The Pentagon, however, refused to comment on any possible mission “that would help Ukrainians to deal with the propaganda that is going on,” as Sarts characterized Russian reportage on the political and military crisis.
NATO, however, is more forthcoming, although it prefers to speak in generalities. “NATO Allies are actively considering ways to further strengthen our long-standing cooperation with Ukraine, including in the area of public diplomacy,” a NATO official said. “Allies are also providing assistance to Ukraine on a bilateral basis.”
NATO’s use of the phrase “public diplomacy” is significant. The term was coined during the Cold War when the United States engaged in a concerted propaganda effort to influence public opinion on the Soviet Union. Public diplomacy is defined as “white propaganda” whereas psychological operations are considered black propaganda. “Bottom line, however, is that propaganda is an instrument of war used by a government, primarily but not exclusively, against a present or possibly future enemy,” writes John Brown.
The former U.S. ambassador to Moscow and current deputy secretary-general of NATO, Alexander Vershbow, confirmed the discussion, but did not provide details. He said “I honestly don’t know” if troops from Western nations would be involved in any PSYOPS effort in Ukraine. Vershbow said there is “nothing that would preclude that, but it could also be done in the home country [of participating nations], in Latvia or any other country that might provide that.” He added there is nothing preventing the United States from providing Ukraine with military assistance.
U.S. News & World Report said in addition to disseminating propaganda inside Ukraine, the United States and NATO need to transmit information to the Russian people.
The CIA and the U.S. State Department have ample experience in propaganda dissemination. CIA director Allen Dulles and investment banker Frank Altschul established the National Committee for a Free Europe in 1949. Its Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty operations broadcast anti-communist propaganda into the Soviet Union. The CIA implementation of surrogate radio stations was a key part of a larger psychological effort during the Cold War.
Paul D. Shinkman writes for U.S. News & World Report, a magazine owned by CFR member and bankster advisor Mortimer Zuckerman:
The need to send a message to its citizens and to Russia alike reflects a cold truth in eastern Ukraine, where many lived through the Cold War and learned to speak the prerequisite Russian. Daily, the message on TV, radio and 21st century sources of information amounts to this: ”The fascists are taking over from Kiev. They really want to come and get us.”
It stems from what experts call an extremely aggressive propaganda campaign on behalf of the Russian government that seeks to rob targeted communities of any news coming out of the West, and replace it with its own version of the facts.
U.S. officials and top leadership at NATO, including Vershbow, say there are no muddling interpretations or shades of gray. Russia is flat out lying to the people it hopes to conquer in a desperate attempt to foment fear and submission.
Ultra-nationalists and fascists undoubtedly play an important role in the Ukrainian regime, including running its security service. Russian-speaking citizens have been targeted, most notably by legislation following the U.S. State Department fomented coup.
Despite a coordinated effort by the establishment media in the United States to minimize the fascist character of the regime, Russian and other networks have reported on these and other aspects. Russian media has undoubtedly put a spin on coverage. Its contribution to the flow of information, however, has denied the establishment media in the United States the ability to dominate the story and shape it in an effort to enhance its political objectives.