By ‘vilifying’ Putin, 'idolizing' Zelensky; US moulds war narrative
The fellow at Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs says the US government and press reshaped the narrative of the Ukraine war and made it untouchable for questioning.
The United States government has managed to submerge its homefront in its self-proclaimed narrative regarding the events in Ukraine to a point where the line between good and evil that the administration and the press drew for the Americans has never been more contrasting.
In a report published by Responsible Statecraft, senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University Stephen Kinzer says attempting to oppose the US' official narrative is "all but impossible," noting that voices calling for restraint are even fewer than those found before the Iraq invasion in 2003.
Read more: Biden’s Ukraine policy may lead to WWIII: Trump
No for questioning mystical Ukraine
To even suggest that all parties to the war in Ukraine share some blame or to argue against the flow of US advanced weapons to a warzone and question the actual interest of taking part in this war could be considered "treasonous", the author said, revealing that rational debate regarding the Ukrainian issue has been suppressed.
The ruling political class in Washington sees Ukraine as the perfect oppurtinity to bloody Russia and shows the world that the US is still leading the globe, despite the fact the balance of power in the world may be shifting.
Read more: Protesters demand NATO's dissolution at Rage Against War Machine rally
The media campaign that followed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky succeeded to portray him as the global freedom hero and managed to attract Americans' undivided love to the Eastern European leader overnight.
On the other hand, the US was able to demonize Russian President Vladimir Putin by merely directing all media campaigns on his person as an individual, without having to indulge in addressing a movement or a country, because focusing hatred on a single person, like the US did previously with adversaries such as Castro is easier to establish America's moral superiority, the author said.
The US signed off $40 billion to Ukraine just after the war began, the press hailed the decision, and all Congress Democrats with no exceptions approved it, while votes against were few and were all Republicans.
Every country that is directly or indirectly involved in war leaves no room for debate of the legitimacy of wartime decisions, Kinzer argues, as authorities during the war would silence opposing voices, and that what is happening in the US regarding the Ukraine conflict is the latest in the course of official narrative-shaping.
Read more: Pentagon announces new $460mln military assistance package to Ukraine
Washington managed to achieve one of the most effective and powerful narrative campaigns in modern history during the Cold War. For long years, American citizens were led to believe that their lives are at a direct threat around the clock by the USSR, the center of which is Moscow, and since then, Americans grew used to seeing Russia as an evil enemy. Long years of psych preparation made the US able to directly mobilize Americans against Russia, or any other country it chooses, the author added.
The press plays a chief cheerleader role in war
The press, according to Kinzer, has become a champion of Washington's official narrative regarding Ukraine, and rather than practicing journalism and asking the right, uncomfortable questions, they cheer for the Ukraine rhetorics delivered by politicians benefiting from the war.
Reporting on the matter has almost been inclusively from parties on the US side of the narrative, which is leading the public to believe that the Ukrainian military is not committing war crimes, while Amnesty International's report about Ukrainians’ use of human shields in the war was faced with an outrage.
Death of journalism
According to the report, this journalism reveals that in this war, justice is one-sided, which is why reporting on the battlefield is also one-sided.
The public consensus upon writers on this conflict, similar to that of those during the Cold War, is that the US government and the press are one team serving two roles to assure America's victory, Kinzer said, dubbing this idea as the death of journalism.
According to him, the press should not take sides in teams, rather, its job is to challenge the official narrative and not echo it mindlessly.
That is the difference between public relations and journalism, he added.
Read more: US not actively encouraging Ukraine to retake Crimea: Reports
Questions that need to be asked
Americans today are being led to believe that one side, Ukraine, has a monopoly on righteousness and that all the good is on its side, while the evil is on the other [Russia], which is not the case in any war or conflict.
Currently, no major news outlet appears to ask the much-needed questions regarding this war, Kinzer added.
Read more: Ukraine PM next to be sacked amid corruption scandal: Reports
According to the report, the following questions are fundamental to address the Ukraine war: Is Moscow wrong for not wanting enemy bases on its borders? Did the US partake in the provocations that led to the war? What percentage of Ukraine's military is pro-Nazi? What interest does the US have regardless of where the Donbass line was drawn? Was sending advanced and mass amounts of weapons to one of the world's most corrupt countries well thought out, and was the matter taken into consideration? What is the true nature of this conflict; is it a war between democracy and autocracy or just a European war we have no business in?
Read more: Ukrainian soldier wearing ISIS patch caught on Danish TV news report
Despite the fact that the US is sinking more into the conflict, the above-mentioned questions are still deemed out of place, while the rigid narrative that brings together America's political parties and media outlets is suppressing reasonable debates.
Kinzer concluded that one of the worst outcomes of the Ukraine war has become clear: It has narrowed the American mind further.