Thursday, 18 August 2016

Q73: Am I Biased Towards Russia and Putin?

A friend in Ottawa recently asked me (August 17, 2016): ‘As a peace journalist, are you biased towards Russia instead of being objective?’ While starting to write him a reply, I decided to answer the question here, and he wished to not be identified.

"Media bias", Danielle's Journalism Portfolio, March 24, 2015.

Answer

No. I prefer to say that I am ‘friendly’ rather than ‘biased’. I understand that because my ancestors immigrated from Russia 117 years ago, some readers may be suspicious of my intentions.

I have a degree in anthropology where I learned that the first step in learning about the stranger is gaining rapport. We need to carefully listen, watch and learn, and gently walk on this earth.

I visited Russia and Europe 13 times since 1957. I feel like a citizen of the world and recognize all people as members of one human family.

My favourite motto is ‘In search of truth and a nonkilling society’ — which pretty well sums up the intent of my storytelling over the years.

‘As a peace journalist’ I have tried to be fair to all sides including Russia and the West — using many sources since the 1950s when I began publishing.

I recognize that propaganda, disinformation, information warfare, lies, fear mongering, etc. are varieties of verbal warfare and are obstacles for reporting the truth.

Because my writing often focuses on facts avoided by western media, I may appear biased to those who don’t know the rest of the story. Some examples:
Other investigative journalists, whom I admire, have also defended Russia, with facts:
Center for Citizen Initiatives speaks up:

Sharon Tennison, founder and head of the Center for Citizen Initiative has posted an article on President Vladimir Putin in how he is using graceful language that is human and friendly and invites people to work together. See Putin: Martial Arts Philosophy in Action. Sharon writes:

'It certainly is putting out a message to the world about the value of a classical man who attempts to be honest, straightforward and leaves doors open for dialogue.'

Ultimately a non-military solution is needed to create a peaceful world. But the first step is good quality diplomacy beginning with compassion within. Let's step back, breathe deeply and normalize the rhetoric and become civil.

Three informative videos:
Postscript

Here’s another little known fact that exposes the rest of the story. Though my ancestors came with 7,500 Doukhobors from Russia, they were invited to settle western Canada in 1899 primarily to prevent annexation of Canada by the USA.

11 comments:

  1. Koozma ...where are your citations from journalists who have pointed out flaws in the Russian government? Are there none you admire?. I know you so I know that you do indeed believe in the human family... but others might doubt it

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  2. If Russia did not exist the military-industrial complex would have to invent her to justify modernization of nuclear weapons and sophisticated ABM programs. I disagree with Ingrid that you should be citing flaws in the Russian government - Western media is doing entirely enough of that probably in order to justify expansion of NATO.

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    1. You said it Dale: "If Russia did not exist the military-industrial complex would have to invent her..."

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  3. Kensky here.
    My father was Ukrainian but I was born in the US and lived in Canada since kindergarten.

    My lens on the world is vision for a local structure where resources and admin are decided locally with an emphasis on freedom, respect and sharing of all required work and the renumeration from the resources. People need purpose and feel that they are wanted, needed and loved.

    The Capitalist system has proven itself to be a disaster. When 65 people can own as much as 3.5 Billion people then you know the game is skewed.

    In today's spin the Transnationals lead by the USA and its tools of choice, NATO, UN, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Federal Reserve, and much more are trying to control the agenda world wide.

    Behind this whole capitalist system as it stands is the Banking Cabal and Wall Street, a shadowy group that controlled by the Transnationals feeds itself from wars, drugs, trade and spectacle, it matters none to them.

    The latest struggle using oil as the leaver is to bring Russia, China, Venezuela and Brazil to their knees by lowering the oil prices. This has been done several times over the years.
    (Read 'Myths, Lies and Oil Wars'.

    The roll out of numerous trade deals such as TIFF, CETA, TPP are NAFTA on steriods. It is an attempt by the Transnationals lead by the US to corner the markets and make sure any resistance is crushed and sovereignty is fossilized by private tribunals appointed by their lawyers and judges sue the ass off anyone trying to reduce their profits even if it is harming people's health.

    So I am with Koozma when it comes to sifting through the PR bullshit. You go to your feeds that have sources and connect the dots. The North American media has been infiltrated by CIA types since its inception and the Neocons have perfected the take over of countries by proxy for countless decades using false flag murders, mercenaries, media spin and backing whoever they think will do their bidding no matter how ruthless they may be.

    The Ukraine situation is a case in point and now the US lead UN is going into Sudan which will affect the 75% investment in oil the Chinese have there.

    The drama continues and the only bright light in the US election is Dr. Jill Stein and her running mate, human rights lawyer Ajamu Baraka. Check them out.

    Some news feeds that are revealing...
    ON Contact: Chris Hedges, (youtube)
    Redacted Tonight (youtube)
    Counterpunch,
    World Socialist,
    James Corbett (youtube)
    News Bud (youtube(
    Sibel Edmonds,
    Common Dreams,
    Digileak Canada

    Cheers,

    Kensky, editor, Digileakcanada.weebly.com

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  4. Lawrence Klippenstein, Winnipeg, Manitoba19 August 2016 at 07:16

    Thanks, Koozma. Glad you are keeping feet to the fire of those who need it. As a student of Russian history since 1967 when I began grad studies in the field, , I have developed a bit of that “bias” myself, I suspect. I am somewhat taken by the comment that when you point a finger at someone in blame, notice that three others at least , usually point to your self.

    I have become sensitized to propaganda oriented material, not only formal news broadcasting, but also novels, conversation, many aspects of our lives are aimed at remaining hateful of Russia ( already for many years, but especially since communist rule) beginnings there, and much trust about weaknesses in our own system is ignored, hidden or distorted. All governments govern with the principle of self-interest – a commitment to always put yourselves in the best light, and those considered as enemies in the worst light. I guess that really is what “bias” is about. I see little chance for people being fully “ objective” (though it is worth trying to be) really in a world forever divided into camps that fight each other – an old,old story.

    Keep saying it, Koozma. Others will do the same. Call it a dialogue, if you wish, a war of words, a diatribe, whatever. I have always viewed your utterances that may sound pro-Russian because in various ways many are, that these utterances have as much validity as those put forward by the anti-Russians (bias?). Just how it is.

    Good to keep in touch. By the way, a friend of mine and I have discovered a rather exciting scholar named Simon Sebag Monefiori who has just published the book titled (The Romanovs 1613 – 1917 Between Michael I and Michael II as Mont. puts it) a fascinating new overview of the 304 years when Romanovs ruled Russia.

    Happy to keep in touch.

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  5. Andrew Donskov, Ottawa19 August 2016 at 07:21

    Dear Koozma,

    You are the most objective PEACE journalist that I have ever
    had the pleasure of knowing. Please, Koozma, continue with your
    work.
    With much respect,

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  6. Jacob Rempel, Vancouver, BC19 August 2016 at 07:24

    Thank you for this, Koozma. My first information about Doukhobors came from my big brother William, who served in Conscientious Objector forest camps during World War 2, and who came home speaking of COs whom he met in those camps. I regret that I hear so little peace campaigning now from Mennonites and Doukhobors and from other Christian pacifists objecting to all the violent military aggression which Canadian governments and weapons industries are aiding and abetting. -- I hesitate to start listing the wars of the last 30 years, to describe the devastation and death, and the suffering millions --- even while most of us live so very comfortably here. Part of my teacher life was teaching in Mountain Prison near Agassiz, B.C., where some of the more radical Doukhobors tarried for a time. I enjoyed them.

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    1. Please check out Conscience Canada http://www.consciencecanada.ca for our Peace Tax Return by which you can express your disagreement with the Canadian government war spending. For reasons we find difficult to fathom, very few Canadian war tax objectors take advantage of the PTR at tax time. murraylumley@ca.inter.net

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  7. The west [NATO] had an opportunity to enter into a mutually cooperative relationship with Russia after the collapse of communism. The military industrialists could see their market folding, particularly in view of their failed expansionist experiments in the middle east. A conscience decision was made to demonize Russia because the cold war was so profitable. The 'western' media was complicit in this campaign. Koozma and very few others try to present a glimmer of reality around this demonetization, but when they do, they are accused of being 'Russian' sympathizers rather than 'objective truth' sympathizers. Sad to notice that our government funded CBC fails in this regard, as well as our sunny ways Liberal government which accept US policy in our foreign policy.

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  8. You can't learn about Russia, or anywhere else, in the 7 second bits our media here likes to provide. You also can't learn much about the media's intentions or bias, as they never state it. What you've done is make your bias for peace well known and people can judge the articles for themselves knowing your p.o.v. which is something you rarely get in the media these days.

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  9. Veronica Makarova, Saskatoon, Sask.19 August 2016 at 13:33

    Dear Koozma,
    Even if you were biased towards Russia, this is a good thing, because there is the prevailing bias against Russia in Canadian media, so a difference in opinions can only contribute to a more objective picture.
    Also, ethnic Russians and descendants of ethnic Russians have all the right to speak for their home/ancestral country.
    As a Russian Canadian, I feel hurt when my country is being slammed in media for no good reason, as a part of the militaristic ideology building the image of Russia as a “back up enemy” . This feeling of hurt and unfairness is probably shared by most of 100,000 immigrants from Russia who live in Canada. It is definitely shared by all the Russian immigrants I know.
    Many immigrant Canadians maintain the cultural and spiritual connection with their home countries, and this contributes to multiculturalism, pluralism and diversity in Canada. Maintaining connections with their heritage languages and cultures has also been found to be beneficial for immigrants’ physical and mental health, economic success and well-being.
    So please keep up the good job of “bias towards Russia”, because no one else speaks for it.

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