Let Der Spiegel Soar

Now is the time on Sprockets when we propagandize.

I do my best to avoid reading Glenn Greenwald, as I do Gasbag Columnists of all stripes. And I try not to harp too much on bad Georgia analysis, because I value my sanity and like to get regular sleep. But there he goes again :

[T]he vast bulk of the American citizenry has a completely false understanding of a war that took place this year between our “stalwart ally” and our New/Old Scary Enemy (namely, that the New Scary Enemy launched an unprovoked attack on our sweet and innocent democratic ally). That lie is then used to depict the New Enemy as a Grave Threat and to justify proposed NATO membership for the victimized ally, an extremely dangerous policy which all four major candidates, with varying degrees of qualification, fundamentally endorse (thus further eliminating any discussion, debate or dissent over it).

Of course, the mouth-breathing Americans public is credulous and the American press is ovine, while foreigners are all busy reading Goethe:

Americans are alone in this world in being lied to about what happened. Virtually the entire rest of the world—at least the rest of the world that is affected in some way by Russia and Georgia—has access to the truth.

And what is this beacon of truth? Der Spiegel. Der Spiegel likes to present itself as a sort of center-left German counterpart to The Economist. In that it is a printed-and-bound collection of words and photographs on current events, okay. But it has a loose relationship with facts. It has devoted a lot of attention to the August war, not all discreditable. Its most-explosive reporting, however, was that an OSCE report had blamed Georgia for plotting an attack on Tskhinvali. Well, not exactly “reporting.” A pre-publication teaser said that the magazine had received secret OSCE documents to this effect. The OSCE denied that any such report exists. The actual article made no mention of the alleged report or the OSCE’s denial, and no other source has found evidence of the report.

This is more than “Are space aliens molesting children at local playgrounds?—tune in for Action News at 11 to find out”-style attention getting. The teaser was released the day before an emergency EU summit on the crisis in Georgia, and it was the talk of the town in Brussels. I doubt that Greenwald is familiar with all of this; it’s not his beat, and there’s no reason for him to follow all the ins and outs. But if you’re the Oracle of the Left, that’s not a problem.