Okay, so the best charge list against Russia's hilarious propaganda campaign for its Syria war goes like this:
- Russia makes up risibly poor and obvious excuses to justify attacking countries;
- In fact, Russia engages in multiple bullshit wars at once and tells major lies about its aims and actions in all of them;
- It makes fraudulent claims about attacking "terrorists", while actually just attacking the enemies of the governments that it's propping up;
- It drops dark hints that other states are backing terrorism and insinuates that anyone opposed to its aims is morally suspect;
- That the Russian President has abrogated the right to bomb anything and anyone he pleases without oversight, and that he publicly alludes to bizarre international conspiracies against his nation;
- That Putin makes nonsensical pronouncements comparing himself to the Allies in World War II, and;
- The Russian government has bamboozled the populace into supporting an idiotic war, by propaganda and fearmongering...
...And that all of this is despicable and utterly unacceptable from a modern, theoretically democratic nation.
Well, shit. No wonder the Americans are so pissed-off - Bad Vlad is giving away all the tricks of the trade, right out there for the world to see.
Anyway, let's have a few chuckles at some of the more humorous articles bemoaning Russian state propaganda recently.
Oh no! Russian media is pumping out state propaganda, and most of the populace believes these lies are true! Why, its TV coverage is all swooshing action infographics and repetition of government press releases! Russian liberals and left-wingers have been cowed by a barrage of cretinous patriotic rah-rah and accusations of treason! Domestic opposition to the war barely gets a reasonable hearing!
How could such a thing ever have happened!
And so on and on. Credit is due to CNN, who at least have the dignity required to acknowledge certain historical resonances, but I'd say that the most pertinent point for UK-based observers of Russia's propaganda wheezes is this:
Putin at least has had to threaten, intimidate, ban and even murder his way through the Russian media class to impose this kind of sanctimonious, nonsensical, belligerent unity upon it.
In Britain, no such campaign has ever been necessary.