I was very much surprised to see a headline story on the Drudge Report announcing “Pravda: Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age...” What made this story somewhat unusual is that the story was originated by Pravda, a Russian publication with an historical link to the government and its propaganda apparatus.
Pravda was leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991.
According to Pravda.Ru …
“At that time, a very serious split occurred in the editorial office. Over 90 percent of the journalists who had been working for Pravda until the coup d'etat of 1991 quit their jobs. They established their own version of the newspaper, which was then closed under government pressure.”
“These journalists had to take their fight to cyberspace, and the Internet newspaper PRAVDA On-Line was launched in January of 1999, the first Russian newspaper of its kind. We think that both the newly registered newspaper and PRAVDA On-Line (you are now on its server) have an equal moral right to continue the history of the newspaper that was closed by then-President Boris Yeltsin in August of 1991. The number of journalists that work in the head offices of both publications is comparable with the number of journalists who worked for Pravda at the time it was closed.”
“In spite of the fact that the journalists of both these publications are still in touch with each other, we have different conceptions about news about Russia and the world. The newspaper Pravda analyzes events from the point of view of the Party's interests, whereas PRAVDA On-line takes a pro-Russian approach to forming its policy.”
“Wouldn't you agree that this gives more diversity to the world?”
The link led to a well-designed American-style webpage that could have been published by any American newspaper.
Along with the features were items such as:
- Russia: Conversation between President Medvedev and Gazprom CEO (relating to the current gas distribution crisis)
- Opinion: Neo Warfare
- Science: Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age
- Society: Man Dismembers His Wife by Mistake
- Business: Economic Manipulation as Political Strategy
- World: The tower of Babel of the European left
- Hotspots and Incidents: Israel, you are Serbia now
- Sport: Dakar Argentina: Kamaz in front!
- Photo Report: Brooke Berk demonstrates bikini
- Photo Report: Cheerleaders: Healthy body and soul
- Why God Didn't Have a Beginning?
A diversified mix of articles designed to capture the broadest possible audience. (Perhaps the New York and Los Angeles Times should take heed?)
In the “Breaking News” Section we find …
- Israel launches massive military operation against Gaza Strip
- America chooses its future
- Russia to retrieve its status of world's strongest superpower
Again, interesting subjects, except for the last item which is definitely speculative conjecture of a political nature and could be classified as propaganda.
Implicit dangers: But are there dangers hidden in the web pages or in the content?
In this day and age of Cyber-War, one can easily imagine the collection of non-public personal information from those who visit the website and wish to participate in online discussions. One can also appreciate the danger of replying to an online advertisement or link with credit card information. To note, Russia remains one of the hotbeds of criminality in the world and the technical expertise of their hackers is second to none. Cheap pirated software and pornography provide attractive lures to those seeking materials of this nature. All with the risk of computer system compromise.
And let us not forget the potential for subtle anti-American propaganda. This is not the heavy-handed obvious anti-American rhetoric of the past, these are carefully crafted and tested messages that are designed to introduce fear, uncertainty and doubt into discussions involving American politics and commercial operations.
Especially targeted at those far left liberals and others who already distrust and despise our nation and often believe that we are the instigators of much of the world’s problems. People who are unhappy with their lives, looking for social contacts and will accept alternative external solutions for their unhappiness.
The content is intriguing and interesting …
Make no mistake about it, the content is thoughtful and well written. The subject matter makes sense, especially if the audience member is predisposed to believing what is being written.
In the matter of anthropogenic (man made) global warming (AGW), the article’s information appears consistent with my beliefs and the science of the day.
“The AGW theory is based on data that is drawn from a ridiculously narrow span of time and it demonstrates a wanton disregard for the ‘big picture’ of long-term climate change. The data from paleoclimatology, including ice cores, sea sediments, geology, paleobotany and zoology, indicate that we are on the verge of entering another Ice Age, and the data also shows that severe and lasting climate change can occur within only a few years.”
“While concern over the dubious threat of Anthropogenic Global Warming continues to distract the attention of people throughout the world, the very real threat of the approaching and inevitable Ice Age, which will render large parts of the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable, is being foolishly ignored.”
Weather (pun intended) or not I believe the last part of the article pointing to the sudden possibility of serious global cooling is immaterial. But it does pose the question, why are the scientists who are modeling our global climate change patterns not perceiving this particular threat – or are they pursuing a “political” agenda in order to receive additional funding and recognition of their activities? And if this is true, what else might the government and its allied special interests be telling us?
As you can see, the process of introducing doubt into the geo-political conversation is extremely easy and unless one is trained in critical thinking and the is able to recognize subtle propaganda, it is possible for America’s enemies to wage a low-cost propaganda campaign using little more than attractive stories in an “alternative and recognized news source” on the web.
But of course, the old saying “sometimes the paranoid are correct in their suspicions” is also true. The tagline on the website, "Pravda.ru forum. The place where truth hurts," simply makes me wonder whose truth is hurting.
What can YOU do?
Demand your local school system return to a curriculum which features the basics: reading, writing, arithmetic, history and critical thinking. Leaving the social activism featuring the far left liberal multiculturalism, diversity and political correctness for college-level political science classes. It is time we stop dumbing down our nation’s children and curtailing their growth by mainstreaming people who have language difficulties, discipline or other impairments into the classroom. Set aside language proficiency schools for those who need to acquire a working knowledge of English. Stop teaching subject matter classes in Spanish. Restore shop and craft curriculums for those who will not be going on to college and need to learn a useful trade in order to succeed and prosper.
Do not elect school boards that mix politics with education. Recall or prosecute those who waste funds on special interest infrastructure or divert funds away from the classroom. Demand that the administrator/teacher ratio be reduced and that teacher’s be required to take competency tests in their subject matter specialties.
Demand that union influence in the school systems be strictly curtailed – possibly using the funds collected from non-union employees in lieu of dues to be placed directly back into classroom programs without any additional administrative overhead.
Change local and state legislation to remove funding initiatives for education as the link between funds expenditures and the quality of education is tenuous at best.
As for accessing foreign websites, be very careful never to provide non-public personal information or make purchases using credit cards, replacement checks or other methods which can be used to drain your bank accounts or facilitate identity theft. Should you wish to purchase foreign goods, ask your credit card issuer for a one-time number which will facilitate your purchase.
Although much of the political threat comes from within, using our laws and regulations against us and collecting information using American subsidiaries, you can never be too careful when dealing directly with foreign powers.
Quote of the Day: “He who laughs last has not yet heard the bad news.” -- Bertolt Brecht
A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…
The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell