February 7, 2022

A False Flag or a False False Flag?

“Russia also has already pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct a false flag operation in Eastern Ukraine.”

The Biden administration made news last week when it said the Russians were cooking up a false flag operation to use as justification for invading Ukraine. Oh, and if you don’t believe the Biden administration, you’re a Russian stooge.

What began innocently enough as a State Department press briefing on Thursday went off the rails when a particular reporter, Matt Lee of the Associated Press, decided to engage in some old-fashioned journalism and press State Department spokesman Ned Price on his claim about the Russians’ alleged false flag scheme.

Specifically, Price said that Russia “continues to engage in disinformation campaigns,” including producing “a video with graphic scenes of false explosions — depicting corpses, crisis actors pretending to be mourners, and images of destroyed locations or military equipment — entirely fabricated by Russian intelligence.”

So Price says that the Russians are working on a propaganda film to be use as a pretense for invading Ukraine, and a single skeptical journalist, Lee, decides to ask what evidence Price has to support that remarkable claim, which he said was venturing into “Alex Jones territory.” Here’s the exchange:

“We told you a few weeks ago,” said a nervous and testy Price, “that we have information indicating Russia also has already pre-positioned a group of operatives to conduct a false flag operation in Eastern Ukraine.”

“Ned, I’ve been doing this a long time, as you know,” said Lee, “and I remember WMDs in Iraq, and I remember that Kabul is not gonna fall. I remember a lot of things. So where is the declassified information, other than you coming out here and saying it?”

The two went back and forth, and Price grew increasingly frustrated at Lee’s lack of obedience, which is what Democrat administrations have come to expect from the mainstream media. Eventually, Price accused Lee of being a Russian sympathizer, sneering, “If you doubt the credibility of the U.S. government, of the British government, of other governments, and want to, you know, find solace in information that the Russians are putting out, that is for you to do.”

What we have here, then, is disinformation — or dezinformatsiya, as the Russians call it. The question is: Who’s supplying it, the Russians, or the Biden State Department? Kudos to Lee for pressing our heretofore inept Biden administration on it.

But it wasn’t just Price who was expecting a supplicant media. A day earlier, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki went after Republican Senator Josh Hawley for calling on the Biden administration “to suspend its support for Ukraine to become a member of NATO and focus instead on blocking Chinese ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region.”

“Well,” said Psaki in reply to a reporter’s question about Hawley’s statement, “If you are just digesting Russian misinformation and parroting Russian talking points, you are not aligned with a long-standing bipartisan American value, which is to stand up for the sovereignty of countries like Ukraine.”

The message from the Biden administration is clear: Believe us, or you’re in league with our enemies.

All this comes against the backdrop of increasing cooperation between our two greatest geopolitical foes, Russia and China, whose leaders, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, met face-to-face for the first time in nearly two years on Friday. As The Washington Post reports, “The leaders convened in Beijing at the start of the Winter Olympics — and issued a lengthy statement detailing the two nations’ shared positions on a range of global issues.”

The long-winded statement is replete with howlers about how Russia and China seek global “peace” and “cooperation” rather than dominance, and how they both have “long-standing traditions of democracy.” It’s a predictable piece of propaganda: a tiresome treatise chock-full of platitudes, devoid of real substance, and made for digestion by idiots. Still, it’s a document meant to show solidarity between our adversaries and further diminish American influence on the world stage.

Weakness is provocative. And the Joe Biden’s State Department keeps proving the point.

Updated to include a link and a brief assessment of the joint Russia-China statement.

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