The leading financial
publications have misled their political and investor subscribers of emerging
crises and military defeats which have precipitated catastrophic political and
The most egregious example is
the Financial Times (FT) a publication which is
widely read by the business and financial elite.
In this essay we will proceed
by outlining the larger political context that sets the framework for the
transformation of the FT from a relatively objective purveyor of world news into a
propagator of wars and failed economic policies.
In part two we will discuss
several case studies which illustrate the dramatic shifts from a prudent
business publication to a rabid military advocate, from a well-researched
analyst of economic policies to an ideologue of the worst speculative
The decay of the quality of its
reportage is accompanied by the bastardization of language. Concepts are
distorted; meanings are emptied of their cognitive sense; and vitriol covers crimes
We will conclude by discussing
how and why the ‘respectable’ media have affected real world political and
market outcomes for citizens and investors.
Political and Economic Context
The decay of the FT cannot be separated from
the global political and economic transformations in which it publishes and
circulates. The demise of the Soviet Union, the pillage of Russia’s economy
throughout the 1990’s and the US declaration of a unipolar world were
celebrated by the FT as great success stories
for ‘western values’. The US and EU annexation of Eastern Europe, the Balkan
and Baltic states led to the deep corruption and decay of journalistic
The FT willing embraced every
violation of the Gorbachev-Reagan agreements and NATO’s march to the borders of
Russia. The militarization of US foreign policy was accompanied by the FT conversion to a military
interpreter of what it dubbed the ‘transition to democratization’.
The language of the FT reportage combined
democratic rhetoric with an embrace of military practices. This became the
hallmark for all future coverage and editorializing. The FT military policies
extended from Europe to the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa and the
The FT joined the yellow press
in describing military power grabs, including the overthrow of political
adversaries, as ‘transitions to democracy’ and the creation of ‘open
The unanimity of the liberal
and rightwing publications in support of western imperialism precluded any
understanding of the enormous political and economic costs which ensued.
To protect itself from its most
egregious ideological foibles, the FT included ‘insurance clauses’, to cover for catastrophic
authoritarian outcomes. For example they advised western political leaders to
promote military interventions and, by the way ,with ‘democratic transitions’.
When it became evident that
US-NATO wars did not lead to happy endings but turned into prolonged
insurgencies, or when western clients turned into corrupt tyrants, the FT claimed that this was not
what they meant by a ‘democratic transition’ – this was not their version of
“free markets and free votes”.
The Financial and Military
The militarization of the FT led it to embrace a
military definition of political reality. The human and especially the economic
costs, the lost markets, investments and resources were subordinated to the military outcomes
of ‘wars against terrorism’ and ‘Russian authoritarianism’.
Each and every Financial Times report and editorial promoting
western military interventions over the past two decades resulted in large
scale, long-term economic losses.
The FT supported the US war
against Iraq which led to the ending of important billion-dollar oil deals (oil
for food) signed off with President Saddam Hussein. The subsequent US
occupation precluded a subsequent revival of the oil industry. The US appointed
client regime pillaged the multi-billion dollar reconstruction programs –
costing US and EU taxpayers and depriving Iraqis of basic necessities.
Insurgent militias, including
ISIS, gained control over half the country and precluded the entry of any new
The US and FT backed western client
regimes organized rigged election outcomes and looted the treasury of oil
revenues, arousing the wrath of the population lacking electricity, potable
water and other necessities.
The FT backed war, occupation
and control of Iraq was an unmitigated disaster.
Similar outcomes resulted from
the FT support for the invasions
of Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen.
For example the FT propagated the story that
the Taliban was providing sanctuary for bin Laden’s planning the terror assault
in the US (9/11).
In fact, the Afghan leaders
offered to turn over the US suspect, if they were offered evidence. Washington
rejected the offer, invaded Kabul and the FT joined the chorus backing
the so-called ‘war on terrorism which led to an unending, one trillion-dollar
Libya signed off to a
disarmament and multi-billion-dollar oil agreement with the US in 2003. In 2011
the US and its western allies bombed Libya, murdered Gadhafi, totally destroyed
civil society and undermined the US/EU oil agreements. The FTbacked the war but decried the
outcome. The FT followed a familiar ploy;
promoting military invasions and then, after the fact, criticizing the economic
The FT led the media charge in
favor of the western proxy war against Syria: savaging the legitimate
government and praising the mercenary terrorists, which it dubbed ‘rebels’ and
‘militants’ – dubious terms for US and EU financed operatives.
Millions of refugees, resulting
from western wars in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq fled to Europe seeking
refuge. FT described the imperial
holocaust – the ‘dilemmas of Europe’. The FT bemoaned the rise of the
anti-immigrant parties but never assumed responsibility for the wars which
forced the millions to flee to the west.
The FT columnists prattle about
‘western values’ and criticize the ‘far right’ but abjured any sustained attack
of Israel’s daily massacre of Palestinians. Instead readers get a dose of
weekly puff pieces concerning Israeli politics with nary a mention of Zionist
power over US foreign policy.
FT: Sanctions, Plots and
Crises: Russia, China and Iran
The FT like all the prestigious
media propaganda sheets have taken a leading role in US conflicts with Russia,
China and Iran.
For years the scribes in
the FT stable have discovered
(or invented) “crises” in China’s economy- always claiming it was on the verge
of an economic doomsday. Contrary to the FT, China has been growing at four
times the rate of the US; ignoring the critics it built a global infrastructure
system instead of the multi-wars backed by the journalist war mongers.
When China innovates, the FT harps on techno theft –
ignoring US economic decline.
The FT boasts it writes “without
fear and without favor” which translates into serving imperial powers
When the US sanctions China we
are told by the FT that Washington is
correcting China’s abusive statist policies. Because China does not impose
military outposts to match the eight hundred US military bases on five
continents, the FT invents what it calls
‘debt colonialism” apparently describing Beijing’s financing large-scale
productive infrastructure projects.
The perverse logic of the FT extends to Russia. To
cover up for the US financed coup in the Ukraine it converted a separatist
movement in Donbass into a Russian land grab. In the same way a free election
in Crimea is described as Kremlin annexation.
The FT provides the language of
the declining western imperial empires.
Independent, democratic Russia,
free of western pillage and electoral meddling is labelled “authoritarian”;
social welfare which serves to decrease inequality is denigrated as ‘populism’
—linked to the far right. Without evidence or independent verification,
the FT fabricates Putinesque
poison plots in England and Bashar Assad poison gas conspiracies in Syria.
The FT has chosen to adopt a
military line which has led to a long series of financially disastrous wars.
The FT support of sanctions has
cost oil companies billions of dollars, euros and pounds. The sanctions, it
backed, have broken global networks.
The FT has adopted ideological
postures that threaten supply chains between the West, China, Iran and Russia.
The FT writes in many tongues
but it has failed to inform its financial readers that it bears some
responsibility for markets which are under siege.
There is unquestionably a need
to overhaul the name and purpose of the FT. One journalist who was close to the
editors suggests it should be called the “Military Times” – the voice of a