The war continues, the manipulation also

We haven’t talked about the war in Ukraine for a few days now, but the information battle continues and the examples of propaganda and journalistic malpractice that we already saw in previous La Base programs have continued to mark the news coverage of the invasion during these weeks. On the one hand, there are those who continue to use this war to push their own internal political agenda and continue to insist on linking the Spanish left with the Putin government from their media tribunes.

Another accessory of this “spring-summer collection” against the left consists in continuing to ridicule its proposals in humanitarian or pacifist terms. A listener of La Base, María, has sent us an email in which she very intelligently analyzes a Vozpopuli headline that goes along these lines. The headline reads: “We can ask to treat Ukrainians the same as climate refugees and refugees from other wars.”
Instead of saying “we want all refugees to have the same treatment that has now been given to Ukrainian refugees”, they put “that Ukrainian refugees have the same treatment as other refugees”. They are very shameless, really. Where they ask for “more and better”, they headline “less and worse” This is what María says.

Another thing that has continued to happen on television has to do with the voice and relevance given to the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, which is part of the Regular Army of Ukraine.
About Azov, there are many people who say that giving this battalion so much relevance when we talk about the war in Ukraine is falling into Russian propaganda; what happens is that it seems that the ones who are permanently determined to make these people bigger and bigger are the Western media themselves.

The emblems of the FNI-PNSOE and the Azov Battalion. AIP

And meanwhile, who they try to make smaller is… Pope Francis. It seems that his pacifist pleas, dividing up the responsibilities for the war and calling for a ceasefire and an immediate political settlement, let’s say that they do not fit at all well with Western propaganda about the war in Ukraine and, given that, the big media communication are choosing to silence it. Something is found from time to time, more on digital media than on television, and especially at very specific times, such as the Easter Sunday message, which can hardly be omitted given certain media traditions. But, in general, what the Pope is saying about this war is passing unnoticed by the rundowns of the big media.

Another thing, in my opinion, relevant, that has happened in the international press these days and that is interesting to comment on, because it broadens a bit the perspective that we have on all this from here, from Spain, is the interview that he gave a few days ago to the American magazine Time, Ignacio Lula Da Silva, former president of Brazil and now a candidate to challenge Bolsonaro for the presidency. Lula was asked about the war in Ukraine, and I want to read you some of the things he said, which are not common to hear in these parts. Be careful what Lula says: “Putin should not have invaded Ukraine. But Putin is not the only one to blame. The United States and the European Union are also guilty. What was the reason for the invasion of Ukraine? NATO? So the United States The United States and Europe should have said: “Ukraine will not join NATO. That would have solved the problem.”

09/12/2019 - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Zelensky in Paris.  /REUTERS
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Zelensky in Paris. /REUTERS.

It hits Putin hard but also Zelensky. He says: “Sometimes I sit and see the president of Ukraine speaking on television, being applauded, receiving a standing ovation from all the (European) parliamentarians. This guy is as responsible as Putin for the war. Because in the war there is not a single culprit. I don’t know the president of Ukraine. But his behavior is a bit strange. It seems that he is part of the show. He is on TV morning, noon and night. He is in the UK parliament, the German parliament , the French parliament, the Italian parliament, as if it were running a political campaign. It should be at the negotiating table.” At this point, the interviewer replies to Lula: “Can you really say that to Zelensky? He didn’t want the war, the war came to him.” And Lula replies: “He did want war. If he didn’t want war, he would have negotiated a little more. That’s all. I criticized Putin, saying it was a mistake to invade. But I don’t think anyone is trying to help create the peace. People are stirring up hatred against Putin. That won’t solve things! We have to come to an agreement. But people are stirring up (war).” And he also criticizes Biden for his role. He says: “I don’t think Biden made the right decision on the war between Russia and Ukraine. The United States has a lot of political influence. And Biden could have prevented (the war), not incited it. He could have talked more, participated more. Biden could to have taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin. This is the kind of attitude that is expected of a leader. To intervene so that things don’t go off the rails. I don’t think he did that.”

One more thing I will tell you before I finish, which has to do with the economic impact of this situation in our country and how some are taking advantage of all this. I read you headlines:
Expansion: Repsol duplicates profits and destroys its own objectives.
EL Periódico: Repsol doubles its profit until March due to the rise in the price of oil. The oil company earns 1,392 million euros in the first quarter of the year.
Public: Repsol doubles its quarterly profit in full escalation of crude oil prices due to the war in Ukraine.
And I will read you one more headline that helps to understand the previous ones: “More than 60% of gas stations have raised prices that dilute the government bonus.”
You remember that the problem with the price of gasoline was State taxes, right? Well, it turns out that while they were telling us that and while the Government approved public subsidies for gasoline, which is an expense that falls on the public coffers and not on business profit, these people were beating all their profit records, doubling their profits, thanks to speculate on the price of gasoline. In fact, today gasoline is practically 2 euros, despite the subsidies, as the owner of said.


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