By Yves Engler
A army funded tutorial, working at a college launched by Condoleezza Rice, claims leftist and antiwar journalists interact in Russian disinformation. His report doesn’t present any proof or refute anybody’s argument, however the mainstream media laps it up.
On Thursday the College of Calgary Faculty of Public Coverage launched “Disinformation and Russia-Ukrainian battle on Canadian social media”. Except a weblog by Dimitri Lascaris that dismantled its absurd ideological premises, protection of the report was nearly solely uncritical. Headlines included: “Canada goal of Russian disinformation, with tweets linked to international powers” (Globe and Mail), “Why is Canada the goal of a Russian disinformation marketing campaign?” (CJAD Montréal) and “Canada is goal of Russian disinformation, with thousands and thousands of tweets linked to Kremlin” (Metropolis Information Toronto).
The report’s lead creator Jean-Christophe Boucher was a visitor on a number of TV and radio retailers, labeling those that query the position of NATO enlargement, the far proper and 2014 coup in opposition to an elected president in understanding the battle in Ukraine “helpful idiots” of Vladimir Putin.
Boucher and his co-researchers declare to have mapped over six million tweets in Canada concerning the battle in Ukraine. They declare over 1 / 4 of the tweets fall into 5 classes they label “pro-Russian narratives”. However they don’t even try and justify the 5 classes.
As a substitute, they merely checklist essentially the most outstanding commentators and political figures selling these concepts underneath the rubric of “Prime Russian-influenced Accounts”. The checklist contains leftist journalists Aaron Maté, Benjamin Norton, Max Blumenthal, Richard Medhurst, and John Pilger. However no proof is obtainable to attach these people to Russia.
Whereas “Disinformation and Russia-Ukrainian battle on Canadian social media” reveals little, it has served its political function. It’s going to additional insulate Canadian officers from criticism of their insurance policies by suggesting anybody questioning Ottawa’s Ukraine/NATO insurance policies are a part of a Russian disinformation marketing campaign.
Boucher is a product of the Canadian army’s huge publicly financed ideological equipment, which I element in A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Authorities, Companies, Media and Academia Promote Conflict and Exploitation. He has been a fellow on the army and arms business funded Canadian World Affairs Institute and Dalhousie Centre for the Examine of Safety and Improvement. He advocates theories amenable to the army’s pursuits, together with “strategic retrenchment: falling again on the individuals you possibly can actually belief”, which is a classy means of claiming Canada ought to deepen its alliance with the US empire.
His tutorial profile says Boucher “is a co-lead of the Canadian Community on Info and Safety, funded by the Division of Nationwide Defence” whereas his Canadian World Affairs Institute bio notes that “he’s presently liable for greater than $2.4M of funding from the Division of Nationwide Defence (DND) to check data operations.”
The army put up the cash to determine the Canadian Community on Info and Safety (CANIS) as a joint challenge between the College of Calgary’s Public Coverage Institute and Centre for Army, Safety and Strategic Research. A 2020-21 DND report labels CANIS amongst three initiatives “launched to sort out DND/CAF’s most urgent challenges.”
The College of Calgary Faculty of Public Coverage is actually a right-wing suppose tank housed at a college, in accordance with Donald Gutstein, creator of two books on Canadian suppose tanks. It was arrange in 2008 with $4 million from main oil and gasoline lawyer James Palmer and launched at a $500-a-plate gala that included a keynote speech by George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
The supporters of militarism would really like us to imagine that anybody criticizing Canada and NATO’s insurance policies on Ukraine is a Russian agent or a helpful fool. However individuals being paid to advertise opinions favorable to arms makers, the US empire and highly effective people ought to have little credibility in the case of criticizing the motivation of others.
Yves Engler’s newest e book isStand on Guard for Whom?: A Folks’s Historical past of the Canadian Army.