The legend of Ukraine’s Snake Island soldier deaths: Actually, Russia told the truth

The following is a news analysis and commentary

Ukrainian President announces death of 13 of its soldiers after they defiantly cussed out the Russians!
Someone quickly circulates audio and English translation: news of the sad deaths goes viral worldwide
Their tragic deaths become legendary….
Their sad deaths are inspirational…
The soldiers are honored posthumously.
Russia says soldiers are alive. But Russia is evil and therefore is lying about everything, so…
Wait… What?
So… Ukraine made an unfounded conclusion and the media reported it without attribution (as if they had confirmed the deaths firsthand), but Russia told the truth?
Aaaaaaannnd…there we have it. Another lesson in what happens when we don’t follow basic journalism standards and practices. What other mistakes are we making that are not so easily caught?

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7 thoughts on “The legend of Ukraine’s Snake Island soldier deaths: Actually, Russia told the truth”

  1. Does anyone remember “Wag the Dog” ?
    There are many more sources for information other than MSM and government propaganda.
    When you find out that videos are not representative of current events, begin to question and become skeptical.
    Sharyl provided a GREAT diagram of gobs of news sources several years ago. Make up your own mind.

  2. And Sharyl stated and then asked, “Aaaaaaannnd…there we have it. Another lesson in what happens when we don’t follow basic journalism standards and practices. What other mistakes are we making that are not so easily caught?”

    Seymour Hersh in his Introduction to his REPORTER book. “We are sodden with fake news, hyped-up and incomplete information, and false assertions delivered nonstop by our daily newspapers, our televisions, our online news agencies, our social media and our President.”

    As for other items not “easily caught.” Sniper bullets and other weapons fired from an apartment building, might be a missing context when after a battle the building is shown to have been destroyed. Internet and power and water still working in a city under apparent seige can be attributed to the incompetence of the aggressors in not damaging the critical infrastructure.

    Historical context can also be lacking. The decision to expand NATO was deeply opposed by a great number of the best strategic and diplomatic thinkers of the time, including many of the “hawks” that engineered the strategy of containment of the Soviet Union. See this letter that 50 signatories had sent to President Bill Clinton.

    I (Thomas Donlon) in the run-up to this current war believed the US was actually baiting Russia to invade Ukraine that the US was trying to push Putin’s buttons.

    And I actually took a week of vacation from work just to further research all this stuff, because if a war gets underway, especially a nuclear one, I think it would likely negatively affect my life. In my research I came across this Rand Report (unclassified).
    That paper is titled “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia.” The ideas in the paper aren’t all that great, it is the mindset that is telling. And if this is unclassified … think for yourself. The mindset of trying to overthrow Russia is insane though.

    Even an apparent defender of Russia’s viewpoint Mearsheimer (for more of his thinking about this present conflict and how it arose you can read)
    Mearsheimer in video from about 2015 or so had thought it would have been stupid for Russia to invade Ukraine. In a video remark as he was chatting he even mentioned that if we wanted to hurt Russia that we would encourage Russia to invade Ukraine. But then he remarked that Putin was too smart for that.

    There are other thoughts that some military analysts have come up with recently. Russia doesn’t even call this an “invasion” and they stated their limited objectives. Do the facts bear that out? Are there objectives limited? They are keeping just enough forces outside Ukraine’s major cities to force a defense of those cities and tie up Ukrainian troops. There operation’s stated intentions was to … from memory… get rid of the radical extremists “nazi’s” and stop the shelling of the Russians in the Donbass region. And because of the failure of the Minkst (not sure on my spelling here) accords which were intended to give limited autonomy to the Eastern Ukraine areas, and for the last eight years or so the Ukrainian army has been shelling some of these areas. I don’t know quite what to make of it but the UN did a count of the dead and found a high level (something like 80%) were of those in the Russian areas. I didn’t get the feeling the US was trying to promote peace. For some reason senators Graham and McCain were on video and were shown speaking to the people that from my impression were those fighting against the “separatists” telling them “your fight is our fight.” Another leading senator said he wanted to fight Russia over there, so we won’t have to fight them over here. That would make sense if you want to fight sheep herders or a local group of extremists. But, last I checked Russia still has a number of ways that it could attack the US if it wanted to. With cyber attacks alone they could probably put the US over the edge. And yet most in the congress seem very eager to get Putin out of power. Matter of fact there is much more evidence of hostility from US officials towards Russia (even prior to conflict) than from Russian officials to the US.

    Putin in the past (according to the late Stephen F. Cohen) repeatedly referred to the US and Europe as his “western partners” in his speeches. I’ve noted that typically US people refer to him as “a killer” “thug” “Hitler” etc. And this comes from the presidential level and many presidential wanna-be people.

    This language has questionable merit in terms of establishing off-ramps. It better fits Proverbs 15:1b “a harsh word stirs up anger.” Solomon in the Bible who this saying was attributed to had peace during his reign. Trump who was respectful of other leaders was the only President in a long time that didn’t start a new war.

    Was the US in Ukraine trying to destabilize Russia and bait Russia?
    Exclusive: Secret CIA training program in Ukraine helped Kyiv prepare for Russian invasion is the title of the article at this link.

    This whole thing was likely all a trap. Most likely could have all been averted by just acknowledging that Ukraine was not going to join NATO and if the US kept Ukrainian extremists out of the military and got them away from shelling the Donbass region.

    Even honest in people in the media need to be careful not have on as guests “experts” who work in let’s say a legal firm that specializes in helping people deal with sanctions, or who are lobbyists or work for think tanks funded by the military or defense contractors.

    From way back to 1961 (before I was born) Dwight Eisenhower realized that the media was already corrupted and Dwight dedicated months to writing a speech that he hoped might lessen the undue influence the military corporations had in influencing public opinions. He marveled at seeing weapons systems being advertised in women’s magazines.

    So money and influence controls the media, the think tanks, the politicians… and I’m probably missing a lot.

    There is almost nothing in the current media narrative that is true.
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan in his later years was starting to push back against a CIA that was lying to congress. (They may also be helping Ukraine now… I think they may have even bragged about it… though I can’t exactly remember and I don’t feel like looking it up.) Daniel Patrick Moynihan was highly thought of by Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden who both had great respect for his intelligence. He was among the rare individuals who knew the Soviet Union was near collapse. He also opposed the expansion of Nato so strongly that reportedly Joe Biden’s face went red. Moynihan was against it, Biden was for it.
    Moynihan visionary that he was, thought it might bring about nuclear Armageddon.

    Daniel Moynihan, also looked at Russia’s stance on Nato expansion
    “it is a curiously ironic outcome that at the end of the Cold War we may face a nuclear Armageddon.”
    Hillary Clinton said “He was one of the greatest minds of our time and probably contributed more to the quality of our country over the last sixty years than anyone I can think of.” (Source: I typed this out of some video that she did… C-Span or AP in a bit of a tribute to Mohnihan.)
    Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delaware), while calling Moynihan “the single most erudite” and “informed person serving in the Senate,” says he disagrees with him. [Citation__NATO: U.S. Senator Concerned About Russian Nuclear Doctrine ]

    There are other contexts too. What nation has invaded and overthrown more nations?

  3. Hi Sharyl,

    Hung up in “moderation” right now is comment that I believed needed a number of links.

    I made an extensive comment trying to explain a bit of what else the media was getting wrong. It had six links which I included for academic, historical, research, and verification purposes.
    As it turned out even a slight answer to your question “What other mistakes are we making that are not so easily caught?” almost requires the answer “everything.”

    And my answer is just focusing on the failures of the media the Ukraine crisis and how it came about. This crisis didn’t come out of “nowhere.” It wasn’t “unprovoked” as most people today believe.

    Everything from the language used… (I think these people in our government took John Mearsheimer’s comment from speech “Why is Ukraine the West’s Fault? Featuring John Mearsheimer” that if we wanted to hurt Russia we should encourage it to invade Ukraine and made it as a policy.) In my comment that went to moderation I even cited that the Rand corporation released a report about how to unbalance and destabilize Russia. The non-classified report didn’t get my attention to much for the strategies it employed, it did catch my attention because of the mindset it revealed. The US is/was at war with Russia. Putin has put up with US nonsense for decades now.

    I can’t adequately understand all the reasoning behind US behavior, but lobbying by military groups and their think tanks trying to get us to spend more money on the military is a partial factor. Putin’s independence and reluctance to be controlled by US operatives may be another factor. Jealousy at his diplomatic successes may be another factor. The lip service Putin plays to Christianity or traditional values may be another factor. A belief among Evangelicals about Russia being in the book of Revelation, perhaps that is another factor. Russia’s under-developed economic legal structure may be another factor. The need for an enemy by the CIA may be another factor. The reluctance of CIA and intelligence agencies to adopt to new threats and new challenges, may be another factor. The corruption of Ukraine, might have been exploited for financial gain and there is little appetite among people to let go of this Ukrainian cash cow and cede it to Russian influence… this might also be a factor.
    I just hope the confused US policy doesn’t kill us all.

    But if you want, Sharyl, to see any other of the research that I did in the last week or so on all this trouble, you can spring my sourced article out of moderation.

  4. Another short thought. Jack F. Matlock served as US ambassador to the USSR (1987-1991). He was there right at the break up of the Soviet Union and he now writes. “Today we face an avoidable crisis that was predictable, actually predicted, willfully precipitated, but easily resolved by the application of common sense.”

    The above phrase that he wrote including “willfully precipitated” belies the talking point that this operation in Ukraine is “unprovoked.” The US government, I believe, has deliberately brought this whole thing about. And that diplomat still alive, seems to concur. Major benefits, so far, for the US is that Nordstream Pipeline was cancelled and US suppliers will step up to provide gas (though at a higher cost). And Germany and other countries will increase their defense spending and buy more from US defense contractors. I think they are aiming at 2% of their GDP of which some will go to buying weapons. A benefit to Russia is that higher energy prices will increase their sales profits. Russian leadership is now benefiting from higher poll numbers and a convenient enemy on which to blame all their problems on.

    However, again, back to Matlock. He asked in the article (see above link).
    Was this crisis willfully precipitated?

    Alas, the policies pursued by Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden have all contributed to bringing us to this point.
    Anyway, Putin hasn’t called this an invasion. And Chinese AND Russian media also don’t allow it to be called such. This does put internal pressure on Putin to get out of Ukraine when his stated objectives are met. And one of the independent people I’ve been following has reported that as Russians enter a city that is not in the area that they have recognized as new breakaway …. entity, they tell the Ukrainians to keep their flags up … that this is there country and if the Ukrainian army hasn’t embedded themselves in buildings etc… they just tell the Ukrainians they are passing through as they are focusing on the armed forces of Ukraine.

    In some areas, US media does correctly report that Ukrainians are not allowing men to leave… they must stay and fight… but then US media always wants to blame the Russians whenever people can’t leave.
    Simultaneously, western media is decrying war crimes, as if Russia is engaging in a scorched earth policy… and yet also reporting the power, internet and water are still on and humanitarian supplies go through.

    Or we have such additional contradictions in US reporting like Russian soldiers suffering frostbite (don’t Russians know how to handle cold?) and it isn’t even particularly cold… and then they fear Russia is about to ride all over Europe with the same army that they say is “losing” in Ukraine.

    One formerly high-skilled, talented, US and nuclear operative, Ritter, has mocked the media for continually saying things like “right out of the Russian Playbook” and some other such phrase they use to describe what they think they know about what the Russians plans are for all of this. He remarks that he has been studying Russian military tactics etc for 35 years and hasn’t been given the playbook. In case my other comment doesn’t go up I’ll share what Seymour Hersh said about the media today. “We are sodden with fake news, hyped-up and incomplete information, and false assertions delivered nonstop by our newspapers, our televisions, our online news agencies, our social media and our President. (He wrote this I believe, when Trump was President. His book is named REPORTER.) But Seymour Hersh challenged everybody, probably every President I suppose. And he was amazed during the Vietnam War how incredulous nearly all the media was in believing everything the Pentagon said without question.

    But there are potential non-benefits to the US. Russia being forced to abandon the West’s economic system will hasten the decline of the dollar. Nuclear war, if most members of congress had their way and many in the media, inciting more involvement … just perhaps one misunderstanding, or one rogue actor away from taking place. Congress people don’t want nuclear war … they just don’t know how to prevent one. (Ring, ring… AID: Senator, a lobbyist with cash is on the phone… Senator: “I’ll take the call.”)

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