A propaganda war bubbled up in London last week as an antiquated Russian aircraft carrier steamed down the English Channel, on its way to the coast of Syria.
NatWest, subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which is mostly owned by the British government, announced that it planned to close the accounts of Russia Today, the Russian government’s news service and television network – presumably because RT publishes material critical of Britain and the US.
I read one or two RT items almost every day, via Johnson’s Russia List. In fact RT publishes a good deal of interesting material.
Meanwhile, The Economist prepared a scary Putinism cover, a special section, and a tough editorial: “How to contain Vladimir Putin’s deadly, dysfunctional empire”.
(The Spectator countered with Stop the Stupid Sabre-Rattling against Russia “It’s not their side that worries me; it’s ours,” wrote Rod Liddle, a Spectator columnist.).
Moscow bureau chief Neil MacFarquhar, of The New York Times, heaped ridicule on that Russian aircraft carrier. Neoconservative stalwart Robert Kagan, in The Wall Street Journal, asked, What can the next president do about Russia? Send US troops back to Europe? Retaliate for cyber-offenses?
This is jingoism. Let’s get the election over with. Then we can get back to business.