Voices from Russia

Friday, 27 October 2017

27 October 2017. What Happened to Free Speech? Russia Allows Dissenting Voices on Its Media… What About America?

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If it’s true Twitter banned RT, it’d demonstrate the ideological collaboration between state and corporate sector. Very troubling move…

26 October 2017

Ajamu Baraka

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Editor:

Read this. It’s about Russian counter-propaganda methods and there are few idle words in it (The Saker can be an insufferable anti-Semite at times; it does surface a bit, but it isn’t his focus here). Look at these excerpts:

One of the techniques Russian talk-shows regularly use is to show a short report about the latest crazy nonsense coming out of the USA or Europe and then ask a pro-US guest to react to it. The “liberals” (in Russian political terminology, a hopelessly naïve pro-Western person who loves to trash everything Russian and who hates Putin and those who support him) are intensely embarrassed and usually either simply admit that this is crazy nonsense or try to find some crazy nonsense in the Russian media (there’s plenty of that, too) to show that “we’re just as bad”. No matter what escape route they choose, the “liberal” ends up looking like a total idiot or a traitor. …

The only people who can seriously accuse the Russian government of trying to crack down on opposition pro-Western political parties or anti-Putin ideas are folks who have no factual knowledge about Russia at all. Either that or they’re deliberately lying. That includes the vast majority of Western political leaders (in the USA and in Europe) who now scramble to increase the budgets of traditional Western propaganda outfits such as VOA/RL/RFE or who want to create new propaganda outlets to “bring a democratic message to the Russian people”. In reality, the Russian people get a daily dose of Western propaganda (AKA “democratic message”) courtesy of the Kremlin, and that’s something that the imbeciles in power in the West can’t even begin to imagine, never mind deal with. …

In the age of the Internet and satellite TV, you can’t target your message solely at a domestic audience, nor can you prevent the other guy’s propaganda from reaching your own domestic audience. The Americans still operate as they did in the mid 1970s… they target their biggest propaganda efforts at the domestic audience as if the entire world didn’t carefully parse everything CNN and the rest of them say, and they believe that the West is only unpopular in Russia because of “Putin’s control of the media”. It’d be impossible to be more out of touch with reality than these people. The truth is that about 80 percent or more of Russians support Putin precisely because they’re exposed to the Western propaganda machine and its message on a daily basis. …

Furthermore, and at the risk of sounding like a Russian propagandist myself, I’d say something that’s quite evident, but still hard to believe… Russians have no need to lie, their propaganda is fundamentally truthful, fact-based, and logical. There’s no Russian equivalent of the Pokemon story. When western leaders demand that Russia withdraw her forces from the Donbass, Russians have no need to make up some convoluted story about how the Russian military is in the Donbass, but that these forces are as invisible to the observer on the ground as they are invisible to the satellites in space. The Russians don’t have any need to lie about their operations in Syria because what they say they’re doing there and what they’re actually doing there is one and the same… liberating Syria from Daesh. I could multiply the examples, but my point is simple… unlike their American counterparts, Russians don’t engage in policies that they can’t justify before their own public opinion or before the public opinion of the rest of the planet. Sounds simple? Then, why is it that the USA seems to be comprehensively unable to say the truth about anything they do? Being truthful doesn’t prevent Russians from being crafty, however, and the way they “jiu-jitsu” Western propaganda output to their own benefit is very clever. Clearly, somebody in the Kremlin learned painful lessons from the dysfunctional and, frankly, ridiculous Soviet propaganda machine. …

Okay, the Russian counter-propaganda effort is very sophisticated and effective. However, is it ethical? I think that it very much is. Here’s why. Firstly, as I said, Russians don’t fabricate lies. What they report is usually factually true (I say “usually” because I know too much about how journalism really works behind the scenes to have any illusions of the “they always say the truth” kind). Secondly, they use the enemy’s own stupidity. Nobody would call Aikido “unethical”, yet you use your opponent’s moves and force against him (“combining forces” in Aikido terminology). Thirdly, outrageous, over the top, and disgusting as some of the clowns shown on Russian TV are, they don’t misrepresent the reality of [the West]. Yes, sure, true Russophobes are a tiny minority in the West (at least, where the people are concerned… especially in southern Europe and the USA), but Russophobes or their puppets practically control the régimes in power in the West. As for the Western media, it’s wall-to-wall Russophobic to such a degree that I’d call it unambiguously racist.

Therefore, yes, Russians use the immense arrogance and poorly-concealed hatred for Russia of some of the more pompous and least-intelligent representatives of the West to paint an absolutely fair and accurate representation of the Western ruling élites. If the message were “everybody in the West hates you”, then, this’d be grossly unfair, deceptive, and unethical. However, if the message is “the Western élites hate you”, then, the message is absolutely fair, truthful, and ethical. …

One of the main weaknesses of the US political élite is that they never bothered to seriously study political science, never mind Marxism and, even less so, Hegelian dialectics. Which is too bad for them because they now completely overlook the fact that the internal contradiction of the [Western] propaganda machine creates a reaction that’ll make Russia Today, Sputnik, and the pro-Russian Internet even more attractive to Western audiences than it already is. In fact, every effort to crack down on “Russian propagandists” will only serve to strengthen the latter, making the perusal of pro-Russian sources something sexy and exciting.

However, don’t expect American “liberals” to admit any of the above. American “conservatives” are on a holiday from reality, but American “liberals” live in a shibboleth-soaked “alternative reality” that has no grounding in the real world at all. At least, “conservatives” worship money and power, which are real, although somewhat amoral and ruthless. The “liberal” doesn’t consult reality at all… after all, didn’t they vote for Hillary Clinton and continue to defend her (and her manifestly-evil programme) today? I need to add no more…

BMD

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