Today in War Propaganda

MEDIA, 10 Jul 2023

Caitlin Johnstone - TRANSCEND Media Service

9 Jul 2023 – The New York Times has a new article out with the headline “Cluster Weapons U.S. Is Sending Ukraine Often Fail to Detonate” and the subheading “The Pentagon’s statements indicate that the cluster munitions that will be sent to Ukraine contain older grenades known to have a failure rate of 14 percent or more.”

If you only read the headline — as the majority of people do — you would come away with the impression that the news story being reported here is that the US is giving Ukraine weapons that are sometimes defective. That sounds like a newsworthy story by itself, and it’s the only information provided in the headline.

If you read the subheading in addition to the headline, you would come away with the same impression. You could even read the entire first paragraph and the first part of the second and still think you were reading a story about the US sending Ukraine sub-par cluster munitions.

Not until you get to the final sentence of the second paragraph would you get to the vital piece of information which explains why the world is criticizing the Biden administration for sending Ukraine these weapons:

“Years or even decades later, they can kill adults and children who stumble on them.”

The real story of course isn’t that the US has failed to send Ukraine its primo mint-condition cluster bombs, the story is that undetonated munitions will kill civilians and keep killing them even long after the fighting stops.

A correct headline for this report would have been something along the lines of “Cluster Weapons U.S. Is Sending Ukraine Will Kill Civilians for Years to Come,” but because The New York Times is a US propaganda outlet, we get a headline saying “Oopsie, sometimes the little bombies don’t go boom!”

Cluster Munition: Honest John missile warhead cutaway, M134 Sarin bomblets
Photo: US Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division

We saw another interesting instance of war propaganda in the mass media on Saturday with two separate articles advocating NATO membership for Ukraine, one in The Washington Post and one in The Guardian.

In a Washington Post piece titled “Only NATO membership can guarantee peace for Ukraine,” Marc Thiessen and Stephen Biegun argue that once the war is over Ukraine must be added to the controversial western military alliance. They make the absurd claim that “Almost 75 years after NATO’s founding, the record is clear. NATO doesn’t provoke war; it guarantees peace,” which would certainly come as a surprise to the survivors of disastrous NATO military interventions in nations like Libya and Afghanistan.

“No serious person advocates NATO membership for Ukraine while the current fighting continues,” write Thiessen and Biegun. “That would be tantamount to a declaration of war with Russia. But it is equally true that after a cease-fire, a durable peace cannot be achieved unless that peace is guaranteed by NATO membership.”

This position in The Washington Post that “No serious person advocates NATO membership for Ukraine while the current fighting continues” was published just hours apart from a Guardian article by war propagandist Simon Tisdall explicitly advocating NATO membership for Ukraine while the current fighting continues.

Tisdall writes the following:

The main objection to this argument was summarised by the former US Nato ambassador Ivo Daalder. “The problem confronting Nato countries is that as long as the conflict continues, bringing Ukraine into the alliance is tantamount to joining the war,” he warned.

But there are precedents. West Germany gained Nato protection in 1955 even though, like Ukraine, it was in dispute over occupied sovereign territory — held by East Germany, a Soviet puppet. In similar fashion, Nato’s defensive umbrella could reasonably be extended to cover the roughly 85% of Ukrainian territory Kyiv currently controls.

Tisdall makes no attempt to address the glaring plot hole here that West Germany was not at war in 1955, or to explain how placing a NATO “umbrella” over 85 percent of a nation currently at war would be safeguarded against being drawn into the war.

Lastly we’ve got an article from The Hill titled “Bolton hails Biden decision to send cluster bombs to Ukraine as ‘an excellent idea’” about professional warmonger John Bolton’s enthusiastic support for the latest cluster munitions development.

And to be clear, this is not a news story. Reporting that John Bolton likes cluster bombs is like reporting that Snoop Dogg likes weed, or that Flava Flav is fond of clock necklaces. Obviously he’s going to be as enthusiastic about the prospect of children being killed by military explosives as a cartoon mascot for children’s breakfast cereal is for its company’s brand of sweetened starch. He’s cuckoo for war crimes.

As we’ve discussed previously, John Bolton’s presence in the mass media proves our entire civilization is diseased. We shouldn’t be looking to such monsters for analysis and expert punditry, we should be chasing them out of every town they try to enter with pitchforks and torches. The fact that we see his opinion mentioned as valid and relevant any time there’s an opportunity to kill more human beings with military violence shows that we are trapped in a madhouse that is run by the craziest among us.


Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley)

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Contact:



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