Who exactly are the people who are imbibing the story of the situation in Ukraine as reported by each and every outlet of western mainstream press and media? What are their characteristics? It is impossible for myself or any one of us to know, of course it is, but I suspect we can hazard a guess… or at least a few of those.

Certain facts about these folks are somewhat axiomatic. With mainstream press and media being the most easily accessed and ubiquitous sources we can safely assume certain things.

Because the views of the people we are attempting to analyse reflect to an inordinate extent the views we see in the mainstream it is fairly safe to assume that this is their main source of data.

The following are my suspicions based upon the above. The characteristics/descriptions are not mutually exclusive, neither do they all necessarily be shared among all candidates mirroring the views of the mainstream on Ukraine.

1. These are quite likely to be people who do not have a lot of time on their hands. Their work or family commitments mean that, unless they are naturally curious about geopolitical/political events, they may well be disposed to taking their facts from TV news/newspapers.

2. Regarding interest in delving deep into geopolitical issues in particular I would suggest that those accepting the mainstream view, for one reason or another, are not strongly motivated in this respect.

3. There are those I am sure we have all met who are clearly disposed to taking a certain belligerent line toward certain nationalities/nations and who demonstrate an almost racist-style instant animosity toward the activities of “foreigners”. This attitude seems to follow them from one geopolitical scenario to the next where it is clear they consider the need to investigate each anew is unnecessary.

4. Some few have employment that lends them to having attitudes that align with their own national interests and narratives. Although naturally not uniform across all such persons those who work for a western state in some capacity or the security services of a western state are likely to toe the line on Ukraine that is the general line within the organisation in which they work.

5. In the second last category we have those who, through lack of any access to education or disdain for it have been left incapacitated or completely lacking even the slightest interest in geopolitical events such as those in Ukraine but at the same time like to give the impression of having a strong opinion.

6. Finally we have those directly involved across the political, press and media within the mainstream who from time to time may express personal views in contradiction to those they espouse publicly (I have met on bureau chief for a major newspaper who reflected this characteristic). In their case they know well what can be expressed and what cannot within the context of a popular press or media outlet and in these modern times that is essentially what western political elites express on any given issue that is deemed of national importance, such as the situation in Ukraine.

Those above, I would think we can agree, are the vast majority of those we find around us… if we hazard to enquire (a risky business as work colleagues, friends and family can easily become disaffected in relation to us as they are virtually unaware that other views are possible).

I am assuming that you, dear reader, do not belong to one of the categories above but are instead inclined to look deeper, and perhaps MUCH deeper, than the mainstream. In that case I commemorate with you as that puts us both in a tough spot. No one seeks to be seen as a freak and I’m afraid this is what many if not all of those in the categories above would see us at best. At worst as some kind of perhaps insane, or criminal form of weirdo that could potentially be a danger to them or to the state, i.e. a possible traitor.

If you have ever attempted to talk with any of the non-receptive persons who share some of the characteristics listed above where the person has not immediately said they have no interest in politics or geopolitics at all (No. 5) you will perhaps have been shocked to find yourself being looked at as if you have two heads. That’s an uncomfortable status to occupy and if you have fought to prove that you are indeed a sane person with a normal outlook albeit a different one to theirs I am sure you have been dismayed by the most common response… that you remain a weirdo in their eyes.

It is all but impossible to impress such a person with facts as your words simply cannot penetrate the level of incessant conditioning that has taken place through constant exposure to the mainstream. This is true even when the person protests that he or she is totally unaffected by what they see on TV or read in their newspaper of choice. The level of unconscious indoctrination that has taken place through there being no interest in, or thought of, examining the reliability of the source, is massive. If we take the case of the 99.99% negative reporting on Vladimir Putin this becomes particularly obvious.

The virtual waterfall of assertions claiming the absolute iniquity of Vladimir Putin in every aspect that has emerged since 2007 and his Munich speech of that year (but largely completely absent from his first becoming Russian president in 2000) has become a torrent at times. How many have questioned if there might be another side to the man from what they have heard? I would suggest that the number is likely to be negligible. And for the reasons stated in 1. To 6. Above.

But still we try… though I would suggest that if you are like me… tentatively at first, carefully observing the initial facial/vocal responses of whoever we were talking to. Those of us who are made of more argumentative and bold natures perhaps plough on irrespective of any negative protests from the other and initiate a full argumentative mode of address. If the person seems to ‘have an open mind’ as the saying goes though, that is another matter and we engage fully and to the best of our ability seeking, at best, to stick only to what we reliably know.

Other than this we recognise that ultimately these matters in which we are engaged will play themselves out on the far greater theatre than most of us will even find ourselves within or aspire to and we must content ourselves in the belief that right will emerge victorious. No matter what the sheep or goats of either side say or think.

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