Why Am I Seeing Propaganda?
One remarkable difference between the war in the Ukraine and past conflicts is how we get our information. In second gulf war, I would head to the Graduate Student Center and watch solemn anchors, embedded with the troops, report live on the events of the day. I in turn would nod sadly as they related the heroic deeds of our all American soldiers righting the terrible wrongs of an insane and evil dictator.
How things have changed. I no longer trust any major network to accurately report the results of a hot dog eating contest, much less the execution of a war. I feel blind, not knowing who to trust. Luckily we have the internet. Twitter especially has been a great way to see first hand accounts of various happenings around the world. One has to be careful with the extreme bias of the participants but things can be sort of pieced together.
In the Ukraine this has been immensely helpful since the news available even from those major networks that I distrust has been sparse at best. However, as time passed and I saw more and more “Why were they filming?” type posts about lost puppy Russian soldiers and 100 angles of the same damaged apartment building it dawned on me that I was looking at propaganda.
I am all for Zelenskyy staying in Kyiv and defending his people and I can appreciate the need to have rallying cries like the “Ghost of Kyiv” and the heroic soldiers who defied the Russian Navy to the last man (until they all turned up alive.) My sympathies are generally with the Ukrainian people as they defend their country, but the propaganda is getting a bit thick.
I don’t make any claim about which information is true and which is false. It doesn’t change that I pray that this conflict ends soon with little loss of life and with humility and forgiveness from all parties. It does remind me to be careful, to think hard on what I want to believe, to be conscious of what others want me to believe and be at least a little suspicious of any information that reinforces my beliefs, because such information is the easiest way to bypass my reason and good judgment.