From Navalny to Aaron Bushnell: the stuttering of history

by Guy Mettan*

The truth always comes to light over time. But this time it came to light surprisingly quickly. After just two weeks of media and political hysteria, we learned from the mouth of Ukrainian intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov that Navalny had actually died of a blood clot, a common stroke, and not as a result of “Putin’s poisoning”, as the most obsequious barkers and parrots of NATO repeated in an endless loop (“Chief Budanov Says Seems Navalny Died of Detached Blood Clot” []).
  At the same time, Navalny’s relatives announced urbi et orbi that their protégé was to be exchanged for a Russian spy imprisoned in Germany, whom “Putin wanted released at all costs”, according to the same Western media.
  This second report confirms the first. An exchange would have allowed the Russian president to kill two birds with one stone by getting rid of a troublesome prisoner and at the same time getting back a much-desired spy ...
  In any case, both refute the theory that the Russian president wanted to get rid of his opponent. They also allow us to understand why Navalny’s death was instrumentalized so quickly and so loudly: The aim was to make new sanctions against Russia (decided by the US immediately after Navalny’s widow’s visit to Washington) and new war measures on the part of the European Union (decided at the last Ukraine summit in Paris) palatable to the stunned Western public as quickly as possible. Measures that concerned the delivery of long- and medium-range missiles and the possible direct deployment of NATO soldiers on Ukrainian soil (launched by President Macron in a statement that was as worrying as it was nonsensical in terms of its military consequences).
  As icing on the cake, Navalny’s unexpected death also came just in time to make the fall of Avdiivka and the setbacks of the Ukrainian army disappear and to try to restart the stalled mechanics of American military aid to Ukraine and once again grant European billions while withholding them from farmers impoverished by the crisis and the rise in energy prices due to the disruption of Russian gas imports (the European Parliament has just approved 50
 billion in aid for Kiev).
  If there is one area in which the genius of the West cannot be disputed, it is the area of propaganda and opinion manipulation. As in the case of Bucha, MH 17 or the Skripals, Navalny’s death served as a pretext for an escalation of tensions and warmongering. In a word: to extend the war, to the detriment of those in favour of negotiations, de-escalation or a ceasefire.
  But the bizarre revelations go even further. In one fell swoop, we learned from the “New York Times”, also based on information from Budanov, that the CIA had opened no fewer than twelve spy centres in Ukraine, even before the Maidan coup in February 2014. Why are they doing this? To spy on the best places to pick mushrooms? That is unlikely. 
  This confirms that Ukraine had been under American control since at least 2013 and that the anti-Russian escalation had been planned for many years.
  Zelensky, for his part, admitted that the plans for the Ukrainian counter-offensive had been passed on to the Russians last summer before it began, which would explain its failure.
  Why is this information coming out at this time? Who is it aimed at? What are they trying to tell us? Why are Ukrainian officials starting to dismantle theories spread by their Western friends? There is never a coincidence in this kind of communication, which at first glance appears erratic, but is in fact carefully calibrated.
  At this point, three explanations are possible. It could be internal settlements in which Kiev is trying to discredit political opponents (for example, the clan of the dismissed general Salushni), or an attempt to increase pressure on its allies in order to wring more support from them, or backfire intended to defuse future revelations that would be very embarrassing for Joe Biden’s election campaign. The article in “Le Temps” on Wednesday, 28 February, which – despite the flop of Russiagate in 2017–2019 – revives the thesis of Russian interference in the presidential campaign by relying on the “revelations” of a mysterious hacker group, reinforces this thesis. It’s about armouring the Democrats’ campaign with a pre-emptive shot.
  Incidentally, the three theories are not mutually exclusive. It shouldn’t be long before we know more.
  In the meantime, amidst this wild media howl, one may wonder whether the most sensible person is not that US Air Force intelligence officer, Aaron Bushnell, who self-immolated in front of the White House last Monday as a sign of protest against the Israeli massacre of Palestinians and called for the “liberation of Palestine”. This fact is deliberately ignored by the European media, but it is strangely reminiscent of the sacrifice of the Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc, who burned himself to death in a square in Saigon in 1963 in protest against the Diem government (see Caitlin Johnstone: “He Burned Himself Alive to Turn Eyes to Gaza” []).
  History seems to stutter once again. In any case, this desperate act, which is just a repetition of a cascade of suicides of the same kind, reveals the deep psychological unease that afflicts soldiers when they have to fulfill orders without any moral sense.  •

(Translation Current Concerns)

Guy Mettan is a freelance journalist and member of the Grand Council of the Canton of Geneva, which he chaired in 2010. He worked for “Journal de Genève”, Le Temps stratégique, Bilan, and “Le Nouveau Quotidien”, and later as director and editor-in-chief of “Tribune de Genève”. In 1996, he founded the Swiss Press Club, of which he was president and later director from 1998 to 2019.


ep. The media are committed to truth and the preservation of human dignity in their selection and preparation of topics. Through their reporting, they should make it possible to form a differentiated opinion on social events and developments. This is the basis of every democratic society.
  Today, it is clearly visible and noticeable that editorial offices, especially in the so-called quality media, feel obliged to act as so-called agenda-setters for certain political strategies, lobby groups or donors, whose opinions they – seemingly objectively – prefer to present. Instead of thorough research or a cautious wait-and-see approach, assumptions are presented as truths, always with the aim of creating moods that can be used politically. If the “facts” presented subsequently turn out to be false, the silence is deafening. (cf. Christian Hardinghaus. Kriegspropaganda und Medienmanipulation. Was Sie wissen sollten, um sich nicht täuschen zu lassen. Europa-Verlag 2023 (War propaganda and media manipulation. What you should know to avoid being deceived.))

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