By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Moscow is invading Ukraine, a sovereign nation, with troops and helicopters, and the Obama administration is doing nothing except talk. The outcome will send a message to freedom fighters and dissidents in such countries as Venezuela—and even Cuba—that the U.S. will not be with them when they put their lives on the line.
Isn’t it interesting that a Russian warship has just docked in Cuba? Reports suggest this is a show of support for the Castro brothers, and may also be intended as a listening post to conduct surveillance on U.S. communications.
This is another turning point in history, when anti-communist revolutions were gathering momentum and a U.S. administration looked the other way. But could we have expected anything more from a President schooled in foreign policy by Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the pro-Soviet Communist Party?
Fortunately, there are some on Capitol Hill, such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R), who are speaking out forcefully in support of Ukraine’s bid for freedom from Russian domination. But Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has actually taken Russia’s side in the conflict, arguing that the U.S. shouldn’t “tweak” Russian President Vladimir Putin by supporting Ukraine.
The tragedy is compounded by the spectacle of “conservatives” in the media, such as radio host Michael Savage, turning their backs on the freedom fighters. Savage defends the “duly elected” pro-Moscow president, overthrown by his people because of his power grabs, corruption, and repression. He then fled to Russia.
Does Savage defend Obama and spare him from criticism on the grounds that he was “duly elected?” In Ukraine, the government opened fire on peaceful protesters. But Savage calls the freedom fighters “thugs.”
Savage used to be solid on national defense issues, but on Thursday he praised the “Prison Planet” website of pro-Russian commentator Alex Jones for offering the best coverage of events in Ukraine. Then, Savage (not his real name) interviewed Paul Craig Roberts, a former Reagan economic official whose column was on the Jones website, and who has decided that Washington is the greatest threat to world peace, and Putin is a statesman.
In fact, some of his recent columns have carried these titles:
- Amerikan Stasi Police State Staring Us In The Face
- Global Capitalism Has Written Off The Human Race
- Russia Under Attack
In the last column, “Russia Under Attack,” Roberts argued that “In a number of my articles I have explained that the Soviet Union served as a constraint on U.S. power. The Soviet collapse unleashed the neoconservative drive for U.S. world hegemony. Russia under Putin, China, and Iran are the only constraints on the neoconservative agenda.”
Needless to say, this is a major break not only with the Reagan Administration, which confronted the Soviet empire, but with common-sense Americans who recognize the threats posed by each of these nations.
Savage noted that Roberts, in a column describing some Ukrainian demonstrators as neo-Nazis, said the following about himself (in response to a charge that he was a Putin agent):
“Of course, having done Russian studies in graduate school, having been a member of the U.S.-USSR student exchange program in 1961, having traveled in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, having published in scholarly journals of Slavic and Russian studies, having twice addressed the Soviet Academy of Sciences, having been invited to explain to the CIA why the Soviet economic collapse occurred despite the CIA’s predictions to the contrary, I wouldn’t know anything about how people suffered under communism. The willingness of readers to display to me their utter ignorance and stupidity is astonishing. There is a large number of people who think reality consists of their delusions.”
Savage asked him, “Wouldn’t they accuse you of being a front man for world-wide communism?”
Roberts replied, “There’s not even any world-wide communism. Where is it?”
So despite his insistence that he understands communism, he seems to ignore the fact that it still openly exists in such places as Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea and China. Does he know the Communist Party of Russia is the second largest political party in Russia (next to Putin’s United Russia Party), and that the Communist Party of Ukraine backed the deposed president?
Incredibly, on the question of whether communism survived, Savage replied, “I don’t know whether there is [communism] or is not…”
To continue with this bizarre line of thought and the subject of “delusions,” consider another column on Roberts’ site, with the long title, “Pakistan TV Exposes bin Laden Killing Hoax and Documentary Exposes 9/11 Official Story.” It claims the “official” story—that 9/11 was a foreign plot carried out by Islamic terrorists—is “fictional.”
The column insists that Osama bin Laden was not killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan, a claim that even leftist journalist Seymour Hersh rejects.
Regarding Ukraine, “This is a coup, plotted by the United States,” Roberts told Savage. And Savage, who is apparently conducting his own interviews these days, ate it all up. (Savage used to have his producers conduct interviews with guests and then Savage’s voice would be spliced into the exchanges for broadcast.)
Savage, now selling skin cream products over the air to alleviate the problem of itching, should be scratching his own head before getting someone from “Prison Planet” back on the air and embarrassing himself even more. But Savage called Roberts “brilliant.”
For calling attention to Jones’ service to America’s enemies and adversaries, I am now being called a CIA agent and a neoconservative by Kurt Nimmo, the same writer I identified as basing his anti-freedom rants on the work of an international socialist. Such paranoid and lunatic claims about CIA conspiracies, which are fairly typical on Russia Today (RT), may stem from Jones’ enthusiasm for the marijuana movement. One of his favorite films is “Guns and Weed,” the same combination of lethal ingredients Bernardine Dohrn was pushing when she tried to enlist young people in the communist revolution of the Soviet- and Cuban-backed Weather Underground.
By the way, the term “neoconservative” is used these days to refer to anyone who favors the U.S. standing for freedom in the world. It is supposed to refer to liberals who came over to the conservative side. I was never a liberal.
Jones would be worth ignoring were it not for the fact that he comes across as a libertarian, seems to have a national audience, and features interviews with political figures such as Rand Paul. Senators like Paul give him credibility he does not deserve. Not surprisingly, Jones has also been a favorite of Russia Today, especially when he defended the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008.
One of the big lies we are hearing about Ukraine, which has suffered at the hands of the Russians for decades, is that it is in Russia’s “back yard” and therefore Russia has a vested interest in intervening there.
If one takes a simple look at the map of the world, one can see Russia is already the largest country in the world and its “back yard” is a term that can only serve to justify its interference all over the region and into many countries in Europe. Indeed, the term justifies Putin’s vision of a new empire modeled after the Soviet one.
Isn’t the U.S. sovereign state of Alaska in Russia’s “back yard?”
It may sound crazy, but the Voice of Russia actually ran a story, “Will Russia ever have Alaska back?,” reporting, “In the 20th century large oil and gas fields worth hundreds of millions of dollars were discovered in Alaska. Since then, the region has turned into an actively developing U.S. state with the highest per-capita GDP in the nation. Probably, this is why Alaska remains a thorny issue for many Russians, with some people even suggesting taking the territory back. But one can hardly imagine Russia launching a war against the U.S. over Alaska.”
Under Obama, who knows? If he is prepared to let Russia invade and occupy Ukraine, as is currently happening, why should we be content to think he would defend American sovereignty?
In the case of Savage, this isn’t the first time he has gone over to the other side on a critical national security issue. He took the side of Edward Snowden after the former NSA contractor stole U.S. classified documents and leaked them to China and Russia.
I privately warned Savage at the time that he was making a big mistake and that Snowden’s real motive was evident in his decision to leak material to pro-communist journalist Glenn Greenwald, who spoke to the Islamist Council on American-Islamic Relations and excites such hard-left organizations as the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).
I sent an email message to him, asking: “Why are you in bed with CAIR, IPS, and the ACLU against the NSA? Greenwald is a Marxist media mouthpiece and handler for Snowden. YOU should have understood this from the get-go. The patriots in the NSA need our support. Snowden is an enemy agent.” I told him, “It’s not too late to realize you’ve been had.”
But Savage is still in the pro-Snowden camp. Now he’s in bed with Putin.
This is worth paying attention to because his radio show is said to be heard by 10 million listeners a week and syndicated across the U.S. in more than 300 markets.
At a time when the U.S. should be supporting human rights in Ukraine, Venezuela, Cuba, and even Russia, a popular “conservative” radio-show host is sleeping with the enemy and letting Obama off the hook for his deliberate failure to have a strategy to confront Russian imperialism.
Savage, a recluse who devotes a web page to his dog, is doing far more damage to the conservative movement than CPAC’s invitation, later withdrawn, to an American atheist group.
It’s time for responsible conservatives to stay clear of Savage and Jones and expose their descent into lunacy.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.