But more than two months in, the Biden administration's campaign to stoke fear of a Russian invasion has run into significant roadblocks from the very allies that it claims to be protecting. The crisis has revealed that the US government's staunchest ally for Russia war-mongering does not occupy any European capital, but is instead found right at home in establishment US media newsrooms.
Despite repeated humiliations for all involved, prominent outlets have proved to be a consistent vehicle for laundering pro-war disinformation to the US public. And while front page headlines and cable news chyrons have adhered to strict narrative discipline, the White House's actual, and perhaps only, core principle in Ukraine can sometimes be found buried in the back pages of top US newspapers: safeguarding US hegemony.
Absent from virtually all news coverage is the background that helps explain how we got here: the post-Cold War drive to expand NATO at the behest of DC neoconservatives and their arms industry funders; the 2014 US-backed Maidan coup that ousted a Ukrainian president who resisted Western efforts to cut off ties to Russia and impose crippling neoliberal austerity; the critical role of neo-Nazis and fascists in that coup and their increased influence inside Ukraine in the years since; the US refusal to actively support – if not direct orders to thwart – Kiev's implementation of the 2015 Minsk II accords, which would grant the rebel Donbas region autonomy in return for its demilitarization, thereby ending the fighting but also -- to the dismay of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists and their DC backers -- the prospects of Ukraine's NATO membership; the very fact that the supposed threat of a Russian invasion is a manufactured crisis following a now eight-year old playbook, perhaps designed to justify crippling, bipartisan US sanctions on Russia or even provoke the Ukraine-Russia war that the US claims that it wants to avoid.
Also left unexplained is how flooding Ukraine with weapons and blocking a diplomatic settlement offers any benefit to the US taxpayers footing the bill, at a time when Biden continues to abandon his domestic campaign pledges on a near weekly basis.
A "strategic communications campaign" of US state propaganda
Instead of reporting factual information, US media outlets have flooded their audiences with what one Western intelligence official calls a "strategic communications campaign." This campaign is described uncritically by CNN as a series of "alarming headlines" and a "drumbeat of official disclosures" that have come from "agency spokesmen and officials" who "have provided little by way of evidence -- in effect, asking reporters to report the material without confirmation." In short, a "strategic communications campaign" of state propaganda.