‘Hollywood techniques used to create pretext for war between Ukraine and Russia’
RT:The UN says it cannot prove there are Russian troops on Ukrainian soil - but media outlets seem to be more then eager to report such allegations. Why is that?
Daniel Schechter: Every journalist likes to know what the facts here are so we can determine, what is actually happening. And instead what we see here are claims which do not seem to have underlying facts. As a consequence, the President of Ukraine is calling this an invasion and then he said “I’m not calling this an invasion, it’s a sort of incursion, and there are troops here.” But there has been very little evidence of that. There was one really remarkable image that I saw: a soldier of the Ukrainian army who said “I believe there were Russian troops there. Can I prove it?” and then he put his fingers like zero – “I can’t prove it.”
There seems to be a narrative that's fighting to be born here, with no facts that are at least convincing to prove it. Namely that there is a Russian invasion going on and of course everyone is acting as if there is. NATO is having a big meeting and they are acting as if it is, the New York Times and other news outlets are basically suggesting that it is, with some of the reporters who have run grainy pictures of so-called Russian soldiers in the east of Ukraine with the very same journalists which had images of WMD’s [weapons of mass destruction] in Iraq years ago that turned out not to be true.
There is a lot of propaganda here, and certainly very little fact. I keep feeling that I’m watching a re-run of the movie “Wag the dog,” where a pretext is created for a war based on a kind of Hollywood technique. If it is true – show me, prove it. To my knowledge, at this recent meeting of the UN Security Council there was no proof really produced, there was no documentation. You have got to remember that this area is now subjected to a high level of surveillance by satellites and all kinds of technology, so you would imagine that if the US was able to come up with “facts” on the ground or proof, they would cite it, they would show it but they haven’t yet. And that is what makes some of this very suspicious and certainly has taken an informed debate and made it a speculative debate.
RT:There's been confusing rhetoric from Kiev, first they are crying foul over an alleged invasion, and then just hour’s later President Poroshenko offers a joint patrol of the border. How does this add up? Is the public buying this strategy of portraying Moscow as the dark evil force behind any violence in Ukraine?
DS: As an American I keep flashing back to the Cuban missile crisis when the US produced satellite images of Russian rockets on Cuban soil and they were then withdrawn by then Soviet Union. “Got you,” if you will, proof was presented. Here we have a lot of claims and lots of charges. Samantha Power, who is known for her very credible writing about human rights, is calling the Russians liars but she is not providing the credible alternative narrative. That is what is scary here, that people that I want to believe, I really have to be very skeptical about. I think the American people are skeptical and certainly people from the rest of the world who find this extremely difficult to follow, and then have the Ukrainian President say “Wait a minute, why aren’t just our soldiers and their soldiers patrol the border” as if this relationship of trust is there. It sounds crazy to me, and I’m sure it sounds crazy to a lot of people.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.