The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Media Coverage of War in Ukraine Is What They Want Us to See

Apr 25, 2022

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the U.S. television networks have devoted an extensive amount of daily coverage to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The news shows of the highest-rated networks—NBC, ABC and CBS—have shown much more of this war than they showed of all the recent wars where the U.S. forces were directly involved. The U.S. military invasion of Iraq in 2003, and of Afghanistan in 2001, as well as smaller U.S. wars in Panama (1989) and Somalia (1992) never got nearly as much media coverage.

Not only is the U.S. media showing much more coverage of the war in Ukraine than these other wars, the media also chooses what to show, and what not to show, of these wars. Today the U.S. media shows us the horrors of the war Russia is waging in Ukraine—showing all the destruction and deaths of Ukrainian civilians from Russian bombs and missiles. But the same U.S. media chose not to show all the horror of the wars the U.S. waged in Iraq and Afghanistan; they chose not to show all the destruction and deaths of Iraqi and Afghan civilians killed by U.S. bombs and missiles. The U.S. government, in fact, dropped more bombs and missiles on Baghdad in the first day of the war in Iraq than the Russian military dropped on Ukraine in the first 4 weeks of this war.

The U.S. media shows us the pictures of people executed in Ukraine, allegedly by Russian soldiers. But when videos were made of Ukrainian soldiers executing Russian prisoners, the major U.S. media chose not to show these videos.

The war in Ukraine has forced millions of Ukrainians to become refugees. All the major U.S networks sent their main anchor hosts to Ukraine to show us the Ukrainian children who were forced to flee their homes. But did the U.S. media send their anchor hosts to Iraq and Afghanistan? No, they chose not to show us all the Iraqi and Afghan children who had to flee their homes. The media today shows us the Ukrainian refugees being welcomed in other European countries. But they had little or nothing to say about all the refugees from the Middle East, fleeing wars the U.S. was involved in, who were turned away at the very same European borders.

Every day the U.S. media talks about the “war crimes” the Russians are responsible for. Yes, Putin and the Russian regime are war criminals in Ukraine. But the U.S. government was just as responsible for the same and bigger “war crimes” during its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the U.S. media chose to pretend it wasn’t happening.

Today, there is another war being waged, and war crimes being committed, in Yemen. The Human Rights Watch organization says the U.S. government, by arming Saudi Arabia, may be responsible for “war crimes” in Yemen. But the U.S. media chooses to ignore these U.S. war crimes and, in fact, ignores that whole war.

If the U.S. media chooses what to tell us, and not tell us, about these wars, it is for a reason. All of the major media—NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, and the rest—are all owned and controlled by capitalist billionaires who are part of the U.S. ruling class. This ruling class, including the military contractors who profit from wars, have their interests served by the U.S. government.

When this government goes to war with its own military, or when it arms and finances a war waged by others, like in Ukraine, they are carrying out a policy to serve the interests of this same ruling class. The U.S. ruling class seeks to dominate the entire world, militarily with bases in 75 different countries, and economically, with U.S. corporations seeking higher profits in every country of the world. The policy of the U.S. capitalist class, and its government, is a policy of aggression around the world. When the U.S. media tells us the war in Ukraine is solely about Russian aggression, they are covering up how the U.S. government and NATO have had a history of aggression toward Russia, a history that led to this war.

The U.S. media corporations, lying, distorting, or covering up the news, are part of that policy of aggression. They serve the interests of the rest of their capitalist class.