Saturday January 13, 2018
The latest salvo in the ongoing attempt to de-legitimize and demonize Russia-based media has arrived with a directive from the US Justice Department that Sputnik News in the US must register as a foreign agent.
In this regard Sputnik now joins RT America (previously directed to register as a foreign agent) in being stigmatized as peddling propaganda instead of news and news analysis, its journalists and contributors smeared by association, in the context of a wider neo-McCarthyite offensive unleashed with the aim of pushing back against opposition to neoconservative nostrums and influence on Western foreign policy, along with its neoliberal economic counterpart.
What needs to be stressed is that this offensive is being waged not so much against Russian media as against Western dissident voices who dare appear on Russian media. It is an attack on the free speech of US citizens — and also on UK and European citizens given that the same offensive is underway in those parts of the world — on their right to ply their trade as journalists, writers, broadcasters and political analysts.
The reasoning behind this censorious campaign is not, as claimed, because those dissident voices are engaged in peddling falsehoods, lies and propaganda; instead it is because they deign to expose the actual causes of the seemingly unending wars and economic, social, political and refugee crises that are the norm in our time.
The most penetrating truths are often the most simply expressed, a truism given credence by the life and words of US labor leader and anti-war activist, Eugene Debs at the turn of the last century. "War does not come by chance," the great man said in the context of his unstinting opposition to the First World War. "War is not the result of accident. There is a definite cause for war, especially a modern war."