It is amazing to watch how compliant and complicit most of the U.S. mainstream media are in spreading U.S. propaganda. The period leading to the 2003 attack on Iraq provided a particularly egregious example of the media's shameful performance in spreading lies, but that period was, unfortunately, not an exception.

For example, despite U.S. intelligence reports stating with a high degree of confidence that Iran doesn't have an existing nuclear weapons program, most of the mainstream media still act as if Iran has such a program. The media are blatantly spreading propaganda from much of the U.S. and Israeli political leadership.

The beat continues today. In Venezuela, there are ongoing demonstrations, nonviolent and violent, against the current democratically-elected government. The mainstream media, following the U.S. political leadership, somehow label the demonstrators as pro-democracy activists. These people, mostly from the wealthy class, are working to undermine the Venezuelan democracy. This makes a mockery of the pro-democracy claim.

The same concern applies to Ukraine. The media again applied the pro-democracy label to the protests that began there last November against the democratically-elected president. The immediate spark for the protests was the decision by the Ukrainian parliament and president to reject conditions required by the European Union for a closer relationship.


The political leadership, faced with large debt repayments, needed huge amounts of aid. Neither the EU nor the International Monetary Fund were offering much assistance. However, after rejecting the EU terms, Ukraine received a generous aid proposal from Russia.

The nonviolent protests continued despite the Russian offer and, eventually, the situation turned violent. The protests, now including violent far-right elements, resulted in the ouster of the Ukrainian president and the installation of a leadership with far-right individuals holding key positions.

A large proportion of the Ukrainian population is very concerned about the far-right positions and actions of this un-elected leadership. This concern has led to some regions of Ukraine voting for autonomy/independence, thus undermining the upcoming Ukrainian election. It certainly does not appear that democracy has been advanced in Ukraine.

The U.S. has a sad history of undermining democracies around the world since WWII. Some examples include the overthrow of democracies in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Chile in 1973, and Haiti in 2004 (its role in 1991 is disputed).

Thus, when the U.S. media uses the pro-democracy label, it's best to be suspicious.

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center's "Peace Train" column runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.