Western Propaganda Is The Reason Why The Anti-Russian Sanctions Blitzkrieg Failed
Propaganda was so compellingly laundered as “truth” that Western policymakers began operating upon its false premises.
President Putin’s keynote speech at this year’s Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) was full of impressively deep insight that can’t be adequately summarized in a single article. All that can be done is to draw attention to certain points in each piece, which is precisely what the present one aims to do with respect to what the Russian leader said about the failure of the sanctions blitzkrieg against his country. The following paragraph provides incisive insight into his views on this subject:
“The very structure of Western sanctions rested on the false premise that economically Russia is not sovereign and is critically vulnerable. They got so carried away spreading the myth of Russia’s backwardness and its weak positions in the global economy and trade that apparently, they started believing it themselves. While planning their economic blitzkrieg, they did not notice, simply ignored the real facts of how much our country had changed in the past few years. These changes are the result of our planned efforts to create a sustainable macroeconomic structure, ensure food security, implement import substitution programmes and create our own payment system, to name a few.”
Put another way, President Putin is pretty much saying that the West believed its own propaganda about the Russian economy, hence why it sincerely thought that the sanctions blitzkrieg would quickly trigger that Great Power’s collapse. That of course didn’t happen, yet the sanctions still remain in effect, which speaks to their failure to learn this lesson and also the fact that some of their leaders are probably too stubborn to rescind those economic restrictions out of fear of “losing face”.
Extrapolating upon the propaganda perspective, it’s important to point out that the West’s anti-Russian information products do indeed seem to have been recycled back into the policymaking ecosystem. To explain, their intelligence agencies and those “fellow travellers” in the media who already think like they do and thus don’t have to be told what to say first put forth something blatantly or partially false about Russia, after which it proliferates through legacy and social media.
From there, second-level perception managers pick up the said product and expand on it, sharing their opinions and further twisting the weaponized narrative. These secondary information products also proliferate through the aforementioned media, being picked up by tertiary actors who then repeat the narrative laundering cycle indefinitely. The problem, however, is that sometimes policymakers come across these first-, second-, third-level, etc. products and naively take them for granted.
It should be assumed that they might sometimes discuss their policy proposals with the first-level perception managers or that the latter at times become aware that a proposal has been influenced by their information products. At this point, some speculation is admittedly being put forth in that one can’t know for sure whether the first-level perception manager omitted to tell the policymaker that their proposal is based on a falsehood whether in whole or in part or if they sincerely came to believe it.
In any case, it’s clear that no responsible stakeholder anywhere within this narrative laundering cycle intervened to shape the proposed policy closer to reality, instead letting it be formulated based upon some level of falsehood as is now known per President Putin’s insight and the fact that the sanctions blitzkrieg indisputably failed to trigger Russia’s economic collapse. In other words, propaganda was so compellingly laundered as “truth” that Western policymakers began operating upon its false premises.
It might very well be that some stakeholders somewhere within this cycle know the objective truth but for whatever reason were unable to convey it or their concerns were ignored if they did. All of this just goes to show how ideological the formulation of American policy has become, and it’s crucial to keep in mind that the failed sanctions blitzkrieg is just one example of what’s most likely many, with the Afghan War, Iraq War, and other such conflicts showing that narrative laundering can literally be deadly.
Be that as it is, America’s perception managers occupy such an important position in Western society nowadays that nobody can call them out for this even when there’s no question that their preplanned sanctions blitzkrieg against Russia completely failed. The elephant in the room can’t be talked about since discussing it breaks the taboo of acknowledging the connection between propaganda and policymaking, not to mention that this latest Hybrid War assault didn’t succeed whatsoever at all.
Moreover, the discredited supremacist ideology of “American Exceptionalism” is based upon that declining unipolar hegemon’s belief in its supposed infallibility, which is dogmatic at this point. For that reason, it cannot admit that the sanctions blitzkrieg failed, nor that it was entirely premised upon the same propaganda that its perception managers at one point put forth to mislead the world but which ultimately ended up misleading their own policymakers after some time.
What President Putin just did was expose the machinations of this narrative laundering cycle though it’s almost certain that most Westerners will never hear of this since his words are censored, selectively edited, and twisted whenever their perception managers report on them. Nevertheless, those who come across his speech and reflect upon the insight that was analysed in this piece will come away wiser than before because they’ll finally have an idea of why US policy against Russia regularly fails.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.