We’re too busy vilifying Putin and Russia to notice our own misdeeds, by Rod Liddle. This comment on Syria was interesting:
A month or so back I spoke to a chap who worked on behalf of the refugees in those two benighted countries and was certainly no friend of the Assad regime. What would be the best scenario now, I asked him? ‘That Russia and Assad win as quickly as possible. That would minimise the number of civilians killed.’ But we are doing what we can to prevent that outcome, thus prolonging the war.
On athletics and cyber-hacking:
It has been open season on all things Russian for a while now. Their athletes cheat and get banned from sporting events. Whereas ours take performance-enhancing drugs solely to combat their crippling asthma attacks which might otherwise prevent them from winning the Tour de France.
The US accuses Putin of conducting cyberwarfare to influence the presidential election. … But are we to believe that the US has no covert cyberwarfare going on?
On the BBC versus RT (Russia Today):
And then there’s Russia Today, now thrust into the frontline. NatWest, largely state-owned, announced in gravely pious terms that it intended to close the bank accounts of the British-based, Russian-financed broadcaster. Hell, we never did that to Pravda. NatWest has subsequently backed down, as soon as Russia Today — with some justification — complained about restrictions upon freedom of speech and threatened to freeze the financial accounts of the BBC operation in Russia. While our government, keeping a straight face, denied having influenced the original NatWest decision — yeah, right — a spokesman for Theresa May added, ill-advisedly: ‘More broadly, do we want to make sure that misinformation is not being spread? Of course we do.’
So I think that’s pretty clear, is it not? There is indeed direct government involvement. We try to harass and hopefully close down a broadcaster because it is putting out stuff with which our government disagrees. I thought that was what the Russians were supposed to do; stifle dissent? And yet while Russia Today is indeed reliably compliant on Putin’s excesses, its news reports — often mirroring good old UK tabloid newspaper hackery — sometimes reveal a truth which would have been otherwise hidden.
The problem, then, is not that they are spreading misinformation, but that Russia Today is spreading truthful information which the UK government finds extremely unhelpful. Is it non-biased and non-partisan, does it always give balance and right of reply? No, no and thrice no. [Is] the BBC?
hat-tip Stephen Neil