NPR's Morning Edition - as reliable a servant of empire as any imperial bureaucrat could hope for - wasted no words in putting one of the world's most dangerous conflicts into the proper context:
You can learn a lot about 2014 by tracing the story of one man, Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader hosted the Winter Olympics proudly showing off a place that's near and dear to him, the Black Sea Resort of Sochi. But the feeling of global goodwill there disappeared so quickly. Putin infuriated the West by annexing Crimea then he stirred a deadly conflict in Eastern Ukraine.The West imposed sanctions, and there's been talk of a new Cold War. But at home, even with his economy tanking, Putin remains popular.
That's David Greene, now Morning Edition co-host and formerly one of NPR's correspondents in eastern Europe. Here he is joining his colleagues at all the major news networks parroting the administration line about the crisis in Ukraine, making it a story about Putin rather than a story about a decades-long conflict over economic and military policy on the continent. This is a lead-in to a conversation with Peter Pomerantsev, a Russian-born writer at The Atlantic, in which they dissect the phenomenon of the manipulative Russian leader, pointing out the appalling fact that the Russian government is (gasp!) "choreograph(ing) politics to make Putin look good." Whoever heard of such an outrage!
They followed this edifying conversation with a story from two NPR European correspondents illustrating how Putin's government is offering support to right-wing opposition parties across Europe, delivering funding in a way that would be illegal within the borders of Russia. In other words, NPR has made the astonishing discovery that Russia does exactly what we do in nations all around the world - sluice money into opposition groups, support opposition candidates with money and other resources, and insert ourselves into their political process in a manner forbidden by U.S. law if someone were to try it here. In fact, this is precisely what we've been doing in Ukraine as part of our efforts to integrate them into the European trading bloc and, ultimately, NATO.
With a long history of devastating invasions from the West, that's a non-starter for Russia, just as Mexico's entry into a foreign military alliance would be frowned upon in Washington. But far be it from NPR or any other major corporate news organization to report on that. That would require stepping out of line ever so slightly. Never going to happen.