the war on truth in Ukraine
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Started by metmike - Sept. 14, 2022, 5:41 p.m.

Western media and the war on truth in Ukraine

Deception is at the heart of all warfare.

4 Aug 2022

"Now I have no clue if any of this or other such claims are true, and nor I suspect do the officials propagating it or the journalists spreading it. But it is out there, shaping the opinions of the public, the elites and the experts, most of who believe Ukraine is able to pull off some sort of an upset if not an outright victory against its largely more powerful neighbour. But the Western and especially Anglo-American media seems to suffer from short, or should I say selective memory when it takes the official line at face value, as if the official deception during yesterday’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq or Vietnam, has no bearing on covering today’s war in Ukraine.

In 2019, the Washington Post newspaper revealed that senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable. In other words, they lied. But media outlets, think-tanks and influential pundits continued to rely on these “officials”; even after it was revealed that they have also lied about another war – the Iraq war, which was also fought on false pretence and fabricated evidence.

Official deception was even worse during the Cold War. For example, the “Pentagon Papers” published about half a century ago revealed that the US government was guilty of an enormous cover-up regarding the terrible losses in the Vietnam war, which led to some 55,000 American and more than a million Vietnamese deaths. Any expectation that US media and the public’s trust in the government’s take on wars was “forever diminished”, turned out to be premature, as official lies about the “dirty wars” in Asia and Central America continued to be widely reported as facts.

Even today, as US Special Operation Command covertly deploys special forces across Africa to fight “shadow wars”, it blatantly preaches “free and transparent press”. One does not know whether to laugh or cry."

By joj - Sept. 18, 2022, 9:04 p.m.
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In spite of Western bias in its reporting and numerous examples of deception by Western governments in war, I'll take the free press reports over authoritarian state media every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

By metmike - Sept. 18, 2022, 10:06 p.m.
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Yes, me too, joj!

We have many things to be thankful for.

Most concerning to me, however is their mission to obliterate fossil fuels which is the recipe to destroy our economies.

Am I obsessed with this?

You bet.

 It's probably  the most important thing in the lives of most people living in the Western World since WW-2..........but the vast majority have no clue.

It's my responsibility to enlighten.

Enjoying life to the maximum in the best time in history, in the best country but not wasting opportunities for sharing. 

By metmike - Sept. 21, 2022, 12:44 p.m.
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Earlier this month/last week we were bombarded with this propaganda from the West:

Ukraine Is Winning

On My Mind | Sep 16

Is Ukraine Winning The War With Russia?

For months it looked like Russia was waging – and winning — a battle of attrition. But last week Ukrainian forces made dramatic gains on the battlefield, retaking vast areas of land, including the area surrounding Ukraine’s second largest city. And now some experts say this could be the beginning of a victory for Kyiv.

Then, suddenly this week, we find out the opposite is true via the markets(which react to the truth):

Russias plan to annex occupied Ukraine

As Russia Signals Escalation in War Effort, Natural Gas Futures Rally Early

Lesson: Everyone knows to take things out of Russia with a grain of salt because it's likely propaganda. It's easy to recognize propaganda when it's coming from the enemy.

People from the West, however because they WANT TO BELIEVE stories about Ukraine doing well and Russia doing bad are vulnerable suckers for Western propaganda.

For most people, it's almost impossible to recognize propaganda FROM THEIR SIDE. The reason is that they WANT to believe it and so they are not skeptical/suspicious. As a result they don't do fact checks on information that states what they want to believe.

Propaganda 101.

By metmike - Sept. 21, 2022, 12:53 p.m.
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What do you do to thwart efforts from message gatekeepers targeting your side and making  YOU a victim of their propaganda?

It's happening in every political realm and even in science and other fields.

Read this thread for some wonderful tips, especially on using the Scientific Method(scrutinizing YOUR side):

By metmike - Sept. 29, 2022, 1:20 a.m.
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Listened to NPR's absurd war propaganda on the radio today with a guest they had on. 

According to him, Putin drafting hundreds of thousands to fight in the war is a sign that Ukraine is winning and that Putin is desperate and all these new soldiers will be untrained and not very good on the battle field..... and  the Russian people will revolt.

The interviewer asked well into the interview "could this actually mean that Putin is more committed to winning the war" 

He said "that's possible but it doesn't matter because he will lose with these tactics"

Putin is mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Russian reservists to fight in Ukraine

The West's way of misleading everybody to think that Ukraine is doing much better and  Russia is losing reminds me of how I coach chess with young people.

Most chess coaches don't go easy on kids when playing them. They crush them, while teaching the lesson. 

I often use a strategy similar to both sides in this war.........only I'm honest with the kids.

If you want to maximize  keeping a person's or team's head in any competitive game or sport...........or a war,  they must believe there's a chance for them to win.

When a football team is behind 48-0  or a basketball team 60-20 the players on the team getting crushed know they can't win and the incentive to win is lost.

Doing their best is still the objective and scoring as many points but it's just a fact of human nature. You have less to play for once you know there's no chance to win.

   Same thing with chess. Even though they know the chess coach can mop the floor with them, I will tell them my moves ahead of time and give them suggestions in many cases so they don't get demoralized. If they make really smart decisions........FOR THEM, they can beat me. But I don't pretend that they won from being better than me. They understand how it happened. 

The West is doing the same thing with the war in Ukraine but in a deceptive way. Everybody knows that Putin does this but most don't realize the West does it too. 

 They want everybody to think that Ukraine is winning. This keeps everybody wanting to support them with more weapons and money, providing incentive to keep supporting Ukraine to finish Putin off because they think victory is just a matter of staying the course and is right around the corner.

In doing so, they distort Putin's strengths and commitment downward, while exaggerating or manufacturing weaknesses. They do the exact opposite with Ukraine's strengths and weaknesses. 

I agree that Putin needs to be defeated but strongly  prefer the truth to propaganda.

By cutworm - Sept. 29, 2022, 9:27 a.m.
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By metmike - Sept. 29, 2022, 11:13 a.m.
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Wow cutworm! I'd never seen that game before.

Great example of never giving up when you still have a sliver of a chance to win.

Boy, those officials made several bad calls in the waning moments. 1 against the Colts(onside kick) and 2 for them, including getting to do the field goal over.......that somehow managed to deflect inside the uprights.

That has to be the best finish in history for any NFL game. Thanks

By joj - Sept. 29, 2022, 5:33 p.m.
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So the West is leading me with news of Ukraine successes?

If so, then why is this war still ongoing after 7 months when Russia was expected to crush their smaller neighbor.

The Russian mobilization, in the reporting that I've listened to, is not so much an act of desperation as Putin bending to the will of the military hawks.  But you can't read it as a Russian success.  Putin called it a "military operation".  Mobilization of hundreds of thousands is a preparation for war, not an "operation".   Can Russia still win?  Of course.  

David Ignatius, a writer on military issues for The Washington Post as well as the fine publication of Foreign Affairs magazine, sat in on a Ukrainian cabinet meeting with Zelensky and members.  Their position on negotiations has hardened due to military successes.  They have 3 conditions.  

1.  Complete return of all territory taken from them by Russia including the 2014 invasion.  

2. Financial reparations for all the damage caused by Russian aggression.  

3.  Putin has to step down.

Obviously this isn't going to happen but it indicates to me that Ukraine is doing pretty well militarily (and probably that reports of Russian atrocities are true).  It looks like it is going to continue grinding on.


As for Afghanistan, the reporting I read was never rosy throughout the stupid mission.  I'm not saying that you can't find biased reporting but my recollection from my Western news sources is that it was a woeful attempt at nation building.  I didn't like Bush going in and I didn't like Obama listening to the generals.  Generals always have a "can do" attitude.  


Iraq 2003 was full of government lies (I was never persuaded that Saddam was a threat).

Gulf war 1992 was Bush 41's finest leadership in my view.  I regretted not voting for him vs Dukakis.

Vietnam was US government lies through and through but the Western press exposed them eventually,  Unfortunately, too late.

By metmike - Sept. 29, 2022, 11:02 p.m.
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Thanks, joj!

I strongly agree with you on Vietnam, Iraq and other things.

"So the West is leading me with news of Ukraine successes?

If so, then why is this war still ongoing after 7 months when Russia was expected to crush their smaller neighbor."

Not sure where you're getting that Russia was expected to crush their small neighbor, as if Ukraine never had a chance because that's NOT the story being sold from the get go or now as I remember it.

The one that I remember, right from the start is that Ukraine can beat Russia but only if they get tremendous support from the West,  like we've been giving them.

I'm not going to have a debate with anybody on this (discussion, yes) because there isn't reliable data or authentic facts to base it its just opinions based on whatever propaganda a person believes in. 

Nobody really knows the truth because manufactured narratives rule the news.

Maybe Putin has a serious disease and will die soon. Maybe this, maybe that. Propaganda to get people to stay the course by painting pictures of Putin's weaknesses and demise. 

Here's something that seems fairly accurate. There's alot of red on that map below but not much purple. 

Red is bad for Ukraine and purple is good for Ukraine. 

Because of the purple, Putin is calling up/mobilizing 300,000 reservists. 

Take that to mean whatever you want it too but the PBS guest described a scenario that sounded like purple was taking over the map and Putin's goose was cooked. 

Which seems to be a familiar theme the last 7 months.

I really hope the purple does win because that's the good guys!

Ukraine in maps: Tracking the war with Russia

Map showing the four regions holding so-called referendums. 22 September.

By metmike - Sept. 29, 2022, 11:11 p.m.
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Generals always have a "can do" attitude.  

You got that right, joj and that's an understatement!

When people go to military school, they don't focus on how to stay out of wars and maintain peace.  Just the opposite:

Winning Wars and Military Education: Crossing Both Spans of the Strategy Bridge

  • Art and Science of Warfighting. We will emphasize intellectual leadership and military professionalism in the art and science of warfighting, deepening our knowledge of history while embracing new technology and techniques to counter competitors.

Art and Science of War

As Colin Gray reminds, there is more to war than warfare, and more to warfare than lethality. The solution will not be found by simply emphasizing “warfighting” in schools. However, an informal survey of faculty that I conducted in the United States found agreement about the need to inject more warfighting into school curricula diluted by regional studies and distracting non-military subjects. Army and Marine Instructors at Leavenworth and Quantico identified a clear need to expand the study of military history and major wars.

By joj - Sept. 30, 2022, 7:46 a.m.
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Looking closely at your red and purple map gives me pause.  The red/white striped area are denoted as "Russian advances".  The red indicates "Russian military control".  Does that mean that the red/white striped area represents the Russian military "success" in this 2022 campaign and the solid red was from the invasion in 2014?  If so, your map indicates a pretty woeful effort on the part of the Russian military.  (unless it's a Western biased map)...    ;-)

By metmike - Sept. 30, 2022, 12:01 p.m.
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Thanks joj,

You might be missing the main point but maybe you were just joking and I can clarify better than previously. 

You're trying to interpret small details based on some map drawing entity  that is in sync with whatever propaganda that side might be following and applying that based on slight changes going either way that are making news headlines and amplified to be the entire war. 

You could be right with your analysis(I can't know) but that's exactly why I stated I'm not having a debate ON THAT POINT but can have a discussion....if that makes sense. 

My point was THE BIG PICTURE which is how much red overall compared to how much purple overall which would seem clear to everybody, regardless of what side we are hoping is winning.

So that you don't have to scroll up, here it is again:

My point is not the current battlefield and borders of red or purple that are currently changing the most that are best  used for propaganda by both sides and I have low confidence in but just stand back and tell me who's winning base entirely  on how much solid red there is vs how much solid  purple.

Then,  pretend that you are Putin for instance and read the headline of this story again:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is annexing four regions of Ukraine.

Once Putin officially annexes these 4 regions covered in red below that he clearly has taken over in red,  he considers them Russian territory which flips his position from being offensive, taking over Ukraine to defending Russia.

This allows him to justify more extreme measures, that could  very well include nuclear weapons. The West will never recognize his annexing but they also don't recognize 1 iota of what he's doing now and he does it anyway because he doesn't give a darn. He's also sending in 300,000 more troops. 

This is in contrast to headlines telling us  about  Uraine winning back periphery territory and turning the tide in the other direction. Putin is annexing 4 key territories as his that were not his before the war for Pete's sake.

This is extremely immoral and against humanity but...........IT IS.  

Map showing the four regions holding so-called referendums. 22 September.

By joj - Oct. 2, 2022, 8:01 a.m.
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Annexation is less meaningful when it is recognized by almost no one as legitimate.

And, it is even less meaningful if it isn't accompanied by military and political control.

The town of Lyman, which was part of the annexed territory has recently been abandoned by thousands of Russian troops.  This was even admitted by the Russian defense ministry.  

Words are cheap.  Joj announces he is annexing Crimea.   (you get my point)

The military hawks in Russia are pressuring Putin to get more aggressive (low grade nukes?).  At this point, I'm not sure if I want Putin overthrown or not...

By metmike - Oct. 2, 2022, 1:28 p.m.
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I agree, joj that nobody recognizes the annexation but Putin......

"The West will never recognize his annexing but they also don't recognize 1 iota of what he's doing now and he does it anyway because he doesn't give a darn. He's also sending in 300,000 more troops."

However, that's not the point.

The point is that it tells us what Putin is doing and what his mind is thinking. Everybody is playing a guessing game trying to figure that out but not giving enough weighting to this.

As a chess coach, I've told every student tons of times: "The most important move in the chess match is the one that your opponent made last"

After a chess player moves(while their opponent is on their turn), they should be focusing most on their  potential next moves.......basically THEIR STRATEGY which SHOULD be finally engaged based ON THEIR  OPPONENTS LAST MOVE and all that information isn't in yet. 

Where students/players(and me) mess up the most, is that we decide on our next move too early(before our opponent moves). Then, after the opponent moves,  we continue with our strategy/planned attack because.........that's what our plan was before the opponent moved and thus, overlook the importance of their last move.

This is probably the biggest mistake that has cost more losses to evenly matched players!

You can't read the opponents mind but their last move is the next best thing to it on the chessboard.

Putin's last moves this month on the battlefield(which often uses chess type strategies)  are powerful indicators of where this is going.......and he's set the tone from the get go.

Like you, I want the West to win badly. The West has well known strategies that include A, B, C and more. 

The potential for Putin to engage in strategies, X,Y and Z have long been discussed, including nuclear weapons.

And the West has long ago  decided that they will respond a continuation of A, B and C or even adjust to plans D, E and F. 

However, I didn't hear much discussion a few months ago about Putin calling up 300,000 military reserves/draftees. This, in combination to him formally annexing these areas of Ukraine were his last move.

NPR and others are telling us that him drafting that many men, will cause the Russian people to revolt........SO WE SHOULD NOT CHANGE OUR PLAN (as is Russians revolting is now part of it).

The West's strategies all along are based on many denials of realities on the ground and about Putin's capabilities and complete commitment. 

Again, I side entirely with Ukraine and if there was justice, Putin and those in leadership positions should be held accountable for their heinous war crimes.


Speaking of about applying the cheating in chess principle here.

Only with one difference. Chess games in high rated tournaments are monitored closely and a proven cheater will receive very harsh punishment.

On the chess battlefield in Ukaine, Putin has been cheating his arse off from the get go. Sadly, the fact is, that unrestrained cheaters will always have an advantage over those playing by the rules.

That's the entire reason that they do it.

Putin has a massive advantage in this realm, which is always overlooked in discussions about beating him.