Of all the hegemonic powers of the United States, a dominance and control over the flow and means of information has been largely weaponized.
The Russia-Ukraine crisis is an example. A review of the history of Ukraine crises will reveal that the US, other NATO countries, IMF and financial players had been working for long to get hold of this special Russian neighbor.
Anonymous information sources are feeding the media with one-sided and wrong information. They have cultivated an environment in which it seems that US-led West are champions of human rights and that they had never acted against such values despite the havoc they had wreaked on other peoples
First, IMF provided loan to Ukraine, which were unpayable in nature. Then IMF started to pressure Ukraine to compromise on the welfare of people. Former Ukrainian president Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych was pressed to remove gas subsidies and open the Ukrainian for international financial giants or investors. He refused to abolish gas subsidies and turned to Russia for rescue.
Then he encountered the Western powers’ game through information warfare. They used the information system to ignite a “color revolution” in the name of liberal values. Yanukovych was portrayed as solely responsible for Ukrainian problems and removed from office and the new government eventually embraced international financial players and the US-led NATO.
ALSO READ: Russia destroys foreign supplies of missile systems in Ukraine
The reality is the US is leading NATO in exploiting Ukraine as a new front of conflict against Russia. The US-led West disdain Russian concerns by breaking its own pledges of no more NATO expansion, aggravating Ukrainian debts and sufferings, shoring Ukraine up against Russia with empty promises, and prolonging the killings with more deliveries of multi-billion-dollar batches of US and UK weaponry.
All along, the US and other Western countries deployed media outlets to build biased narratives by hiding or ignoring facts. Anonymous information sources are feeding the media with one-sided and wrong information. They have cultivated an environment in which it seems that US-led West are champions of human rights and that they had never acted against such values despite the havoc they had wreaked on other peoples.
Following sanctions imposed by the US and other nations, Russian TV and news agencies have been banned in some Western lands. Although it is against the spirit of freedom of speech touted by the West, it does not matter. Bombarding the public with one-sided stories from Ukraine is part of the disinformation to meet preferences of some politicians.
Weeks ago, US media magnified so-called non-pledge of NATO to expand its membership eastward to Russia since the end of the Cold War in early 1990s. But a simple review of their files would come up with repeated answers of US and other NATO country leaders to Russia leadership that NATO had no plan to go further east. Strangely, the world witnessed five rounds of NATO expansion closing in to Russian border since the end of the Soviet Union.
ALSO READ: Ukraine crisis sparks new arms race
The Western media further ignored that the Russia-Ukraine conflict could have been easily avoided if only the US and NATO had eased Russian worry simply by denying Ukraine’s potential NATO membership. But the US did the opposite and kept sending weapons to Ukraine and now even enticing Russian neighbor Finland to join NATO, which will certainly escalate European tension further for the US to benefit from yoking Europe tighter and profiting from more weapon sales.
Sadly, the US methodology has repeatedly worked. The human tragedy unfolded in Afghanistan by US-led NATO has successfully faded from the Western public. Now, their media have made Ukraine the talk of the town and top priority of world. No wonder there is fear that once the objectives of US-led NATO are achieved, Ukraine will meet the fate of Afghanistan.
The situation prompts the rest of the world, especially China, to examine circumstances diligently and to counter such kind of disinformation. It is necessary for China because the US has kept provocative activities around it after singling it out with Russia as “competitors”. That also explains Western pressure on China to condemn Russia.
Thus, the developing world including China will have to erect their own system and work on multiple fronts. The starting point should be to expand the reach of their own media outlets and social media tools. Then they have to build own means of information like think tanks and non-government organizations. The Chinese initiative of New Type of Think Tanks with Chinese Characteristics is promising.
READ MORE: Proxy war takes big toll in Ukraine
Moreover, ideological work would be key to counter information warfare. The US-led West has been using its dominance to create false impression of their greatness and self-rightness, creating disturbances and even instigating “color revolutions’’ in West and South Asia, Latin America and Africa in the name of democracy and freedom.
China is already victim of such US machinations on Chinese regions of Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan. And China’s investment and assistance to the developing world have been smeared at as “debt traps”, “resource taking” among others.
In this context, the developing world and China have to act against disinformation, and act immediately and decisively.
The author is CEO of Pakistan's Asian Institute of Eco-Civilization Research and Development.