When I watch Fox News and its lead show "Tucker Carlson Tonight," I scratch my head.
Am I watching Fox News ...?
Just over three weeks ago, Vladmir Putin's Russia invaded Ukraine, a sovereign democratic state that never threatened or provoked it (unless you consider wanting to join NATO is such a "threat," especially when a crazed despot wants to kill your citizenry and level your cities].
Twice so far in this still young 21st century we have witnessed two major events that could be reduced to a simple choice between good and evil.
The first was 9/11 and the second was the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
In confronting the evil of Russia's invasion, we should heed Jesus' advice to be "as wise as serpents, as innocent as doves."
For over three decades in my professional work, I faced off against Russian propaganda in elections in Mexico, Taiwan, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Ukraine, and even in Russia itself.
Through this time, I've discerned certain patterns in how our adversary fights against freedom and seeks to manipulate minds.
Eerily, I find myself dealing with this dangerous propaganda from Fox's Tucker Carlson.
He has effectively become Vladimir Putin's number one ally in the United States today (though I realize Carlson does not see it that way).
Remember, the Russians may not be great military geniuses, but their expertise in propaganda and psychological warfare is unparalleled.
When Americans battle to persuade public opinion, they rely on what they have learned from advertising.
In our arguments, we go right to the heart of the matter and stake out a clear point of view.
But the Russians use the same strategy that criminal defense attorneys often employ.
And it's surprisingly similar to what Carlson has been doing on his recent shows.
The Russian model avoids the main issues, and focuses instead on the "edges" — side issues that are not related directly to the problem at hand.
This technique helps confuse people or touches upon emotions that persuade them that the reasonable view is not that reliable.
So a prosecutor assembles evidence to meet his burden of proof, the defense attorney seeks, not to disprove the main case, but seeks to discredit, distract and divert the state's case before the jury.
Likewise Carlson has been using this playbook in making Putin look like he was justified in starting the war.
Putin's casus belli is that Ukraine was seeking to join NATO, and that NATO threatens Russia and he had no alternative but to invade. (There was no indication NATO was ever going to accept Ukraine.)
Carlson goes one step beyond that, claiming a "permanent" Washington government has long had wanted a war with Ukraine in the first place.
"They wanted a war and now they have one," Carlson asserted just last week.
Neither Putin's nor Carlson's claims hold up under any scrutiny.
It is true Ukraine has long wanted to join NATO. The invasion should demonstrate to any sensible person why.
Russia has long believed its neighboring states should be subjugated to their control. Putin has moved to meddle, threaten and even invade his neighbors to prove the point.
Carlson seems to agree Putin has the right to do this.
And contrary to Carlson's belief, the U.S. has greeted almost every move by Putin over the past two decades with appeasement, not threats of war.
We saw it under Barack Obama's Crimea in 2014 when we looked the other way and showed little support for Ukraine, failing to provide it with serious military aid.
In 2008, President George W. Bush did the same thing when Putin invaded Georgia.
Clearly, it was not NATO that created hostility with Russia's neighbors, it was Russia itself.
Now that Putin's unprovoked war on Ukraine has begun, the world is seeing for its own eyes the danger he poses.
Meanwhile, Carlson has been looking for those "edges" to confuse.
We saw it recently by Carlson's recent hackling over U.S. funded biolabs in the Ukraine, creating the impression something nefarious was afoot.
No matter these labs were funded not just by Joe Biden but Donald Trump as well, as part of our global funding of biolabs.
It has made a good diversion for sure as Russian tanks encircle Kyiv and slaughter its citizens.
Carlson is sowing doubts, creating division, sending up false flag flares and unleashing red herrings.
Still, the real issue is this: The Russian invasion is the first overt attempt in Europe to invade a free country since World War II.
But Carlson won't look at the implications of that, or point out any of the barbarisms the world is witnessing in the Ukraine.
Instead, he uses his pulpit to say the war is horrible because we have to pay more money at the pump.
And, he adds we aren't focusing enough on our southern border now.
Moreover, he tells us, the same people who want to support the Ukraine back a green agenda, BLM, critical race theory and anything else conservatives detest.
Carlson even claimed that the impeachment of Trump was because the former president withheld military aide over Ukraine, more proof, he said, that the establishment has always wanted war with Ukraine.
I opposed strongly that impeachment. But it was not due to anger over Ukraine being armed, but over Trump's request for an investigation into the firing over a Ukrainian prosecutor who wanted to investigate Joe Biden.
The fact is Trump gave massive lethal aid to Ukraine, including the very Javelin antitank weapons that are crippling Russia convoys today.
There are many other "edges" Carlson is grabbing onto into an effort to bolster his losing position.
Carlson has every right to hold his point of view.
He is not guilty of treason for doing so, and nor is Tulsi Gabbard, the former Democrat representative from Hawaii.
But his isolationism in the face of Putin's evil, even advocated with the best of intentions, endangers us all.
Dick Morris is a former presidential adviser and political strategist. He is a regular contributor to Newsmax TV. Read Dick Morris' Reports — More Here.
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