Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the International Arctic Forum this week on the real and present dangers from falsifying history. He said such deliberate distortion of history erodes international law and order, creating chaos and leading to further conflict.
The Russian leader deplored the use of history as an «ideological weapon» to demonize others, and he said that without proper understanding of history we are bound to repeat mistakes of the past.
That also reminds one of the maxim Karl Marx once wrote: «History repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce».
As if on cue, while Putin was enumerating the dangers of false history, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko was being hosted in London by British premier Theresa May during a two-day visit.
The Kiev-based regime that Poroshenko leads came to power through an illegal, violent coup against an elected government in February 2014, with clandestine support from Washington and the European Union. The Ukrainian state military ever since have been waging a war on the eastern region of the country, resulting in a death toll of over 10,000 and up to a million displaced. All because the ethnic Russian population of the eastern Donbas region refuses to recognize the Kiev regime’s legitimacy owing to its illegal power grab three years ago.
However, the way Poroshenko and the Kiev regime tells it, Ukraine is fighting off an invasion by Russia. The Ukrainian president’s falsification of history was dignified by his British host who dutifully nodded along as Poroshenko claimed that his country was a bulwark of Europe’s defense against Russian invasion.
«This is not Ukraine’s struggle, it is Europe’s struggle. Sanctions and the resistance of the Ukrainian army are the only reason why Russian tanks are not much further in Europe», said Poroshenko whose asinine version of history received tacit British approval.
Inadvertently, Poroshenko can be seen as confirming the perils of historical defamation that Putin was warning of.
Falsifying recent and contemporary events in Ukraine might be a useful expedient for drumming up Western financial and military support for the corrupt and shaky Kiev regime; such blatant propagandizing of history may also be a useful expedient for expanding US-led NATO military power, with all the lucrative weapons contracts that it entails for Western governments. But such a misrepresentation of events ultimately serves to fuel unnecessary conflict, as Putin remarked. Such a flagrant misrepresentation is itself arguably a criminal act of engendering war.
Ukraine is but one instance. The dangers from distorting, suppressing, or falsifying history are all too abundant in recent international developments.
This week, US vice president Mike Pence was again threatening North Korea with war and annihilation, saying that the American «sword was drawn» to «protect the freedom» of its Japanese and South Korean allies. Pence made grossly distorted references to the 1950-53 Korean War, portraying it as a struggle between American-backed «good» and Communist-backed «evil».
Maybe if Washington were to acknowledge the horrendous legacy of war crimes it committed during the Korean War, resulting in over three million civilians being slaughtered from American carpet bombing, then there might be an opportunity for a frank and creative dialogue for resolving the ongoing conflict on the Korean Peninsula. As it is, American self-serving, delusional rhetoric about Korean history only serves to compound tensions and further conflict. Which tends to belie the real purpose of Washington’s falsification of history here.
Likewise, Washington persists in claiming that its missile strikes on Syria earlier this month are a «righteous» demonstration of military power which will be used against any nation it deems to be in violation of international law, citing the chemical weapons incident in Syria on April 4. The US and its allies allege, with minimal evidence, that the incident was carried out by the Syrian government forces deploying poisonous sarin gas.
Again, this is blatant falsification of history which the US, British and French governments have indulged in, along with the UN-affiliated Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. All these claims are made in unseemly haste without an impartial on-site investigation into the alleged chemical weapons incident in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib Province. But nevertheless the dubious claims are invoked as «just cause» for further missile strikes on Syria by the Trump administration only three days later, when in fact those strikes could very well be condemned as illegal aggression and a criminal act of war against a sovereign country.
An even closer, more disturbing peeling back of the falsification of history on Syria would reveal that the so-called White Helmets «rescue group» and the illegally armed militants to whom they are closely aligned and serve as the media agents for, are all sponsored by American, British and French military intelligence. This is why Russia, Iran and Syria are demanding a full, impartial investigation into the latest chemical weapons incident. Because there are strong suspicions that the incident was a propaganda stunt staged by the Western-backed militants, precisely in order to create a pretext for subsequent US military attack on Syria.
This one particular scenario is perfectly consistent with the wider narrative that the whole Syrian war, beginning in March 2011, was from the outset a Western covert operation for regime change. The regime-change objective was to oust the government of President Bashar al Assad, a strategic ally of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, and a staunch opponent of Western imperialist intrigues in the oil-rich Middle East region. Archived US documents, kept deliberately away from public discourse by state and media authorities, show that Western-backed regime-change in Syria has been on the agenda of the American CIA and British MI6 going back several decades.
Falsifying history in Syria on the short and long term is a key way for the Western powers to keep pushing their unlawful agenda of conflict and regime change – an agenda that fully depends on Western powers sponsoring terrorist proxy groups to do their dirty work. Just as these same powers did before in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and many other countries around the world, such as with paramilitary death squads in Central and South America.
As President Vladimir Putin alluded to in his address this week, this falsification of history explains why the war in Syria keeps grinding on, seemingly without end. Not just in Syria, but in Korea and Ukraine too, among other conflict zones.
Speaking of other conflict zones, this week US defense secretary General James Mattis provocatively accused Iran – yet again – of being the «world’s leading sponsor of terrorism». Mattis was speaking these words of American «wisdom» while in Saudi Arabia! Only a person with such a thoroughly falsified notion of CIA-sponsored terrorism against Iran (the coup of 1953 and much more besides) as well as falsified understanding of US-backed Saudi despotism could make such an absurd claim as Mattis did, and thus fueling tensions of further war in such a volatile region.
If the Western public were fully informed of how the crises in Ukraine, Korea, Syria and Iran have been largely fomented by Western machinations then those conflicts would not continue as they are. Because the real causes of the conflicts would be widely exposed, showing Western government culpability, in particular Washington’s.
And then, if justice were to prevail, those Western politicians and news media outlets who have been responsible for obscuring, distorting and thereby fueling these conflicts would finally be held to account.
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By Finian Cunningham
Source: Strategic Culture