The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:50 pm

Russia’s new scapegoats

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A Russian journalist is murdered in St. Petersburg – not for what he’s reported, but for being gay. Reveal exposes what it’s like to be gay today in Russia, where hateful rhetoric against the LGBT community appears on a daily basis on TV and in speeches by politicians. Reveal teamed up with Coda Story to trace the roots of the anti-gay movement and shows how President Vladimir Putin uses this agenda to quash political dissent, exert influence on neighboring nations and bash the West. Coda Story is a new media venture that does in-depth crisis reporting, and for the past six months, it’s been focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Russia and the former Soviet Union.

We begin in St. Petersburg, which for centuries was known as Russia’s most open and European city but now has become the epicenter of Russian homophobia, with deadly consequences. We tell the story of a gay Russian journalist who was murdered in his apartment by a young suspect who proudly calls himself “the cleaner.” We talk to a politician whose homophobic laws and rhetoric have unleashed this kind of violence and to a vigilante who has targeted dozens of gay and lesbian teachers.

Putin’s anti-gay policies are finding surprising support in our own backyard. Our next segment takes us to a conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, organized by the World Congress of Families, which is based in Illinois. We meet one of Putin’s closest allies, who is developing connections with anti-gay activists in the U.S. and around the world.

Putin and his government have been selling their anti-gay message to the Russian people using the state-run media. We hear the propaganda that Russians are consuming on a daily basis on the evening news.

https://www.revealnews.org
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:11 pm

Who are the figures pushing Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin together?

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Three men have egged along Trumputinism: Nigel Farage, who is clear that the European Union is a far bigger danger to world peace than Russia; his friend, Steve Bannon, who is now Mr Trump's chief strategist; and a Russian "penseur", Alexander Dugin.

With his long hair and iconic Slavic looks, Mr Dugin is variously described as "Putin's Brain" or "Putin's Rasputin".


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Alexander Dugin is described as "Putin's Brain"

He has his own pro-Kremlin TV show which pumps out Russian Orthodox supremacy in a curious mixture of Goebbels-style rhetoric and Songs of Praise.

Mr Dugin is widely believed to have the ear of the Kremlin.

He is also under Western sanctions for the ferocity of his statements in favour of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has cost 10,000 lives to date.

Messrs Farage, Bannon and Dugin are all united that the greatest danger for Western civilisation lies in Islamist extremism.

Mr Bannon aired his views in a right-wing mindfest on the fringes of the Vatican in 2014.

He claimed that so-called Islamic State has a Twitter account "about turning the United States into a 'river of blood'".

"Trust me, that is going to come to Europe," he added. "On top of that we're now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism."

Democratic values at risk?

The danger is that in allying yourself with the Kremlin in the way they fight "Islamist fascism" in say, Aleppo, you end up siding with what some have called "Russian fascism" or, at least, abandoning democratic values and the rules of war and, in so doing, become a recruiting sergeant for ISIS.


More at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38639327
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:48 am

We Are Past the Tipping Point

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President Trump has reorganized the National Security Council by elevating his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and demoting the director of National Intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Let me repeat that for you: Steve Bannon, living vessel of the Alt-Right, the same guy whose website described the Black Lives Matter movement as “nothing more than sacrifices to the cause of empowering the elite few who control the levers of Central Government,” will now be a highly valued voice in any discussion involving everything from drone strikes to targeted assassinations.

And there were very few people capable of stopping him.

“There appears to be a very tight “inner circle,” containing at least Trump, Bannon, Miller, Priebus, Kushner, and possibly Flynn, which is making all of the decisions. Other departments and appointees have been deliberately hobbled, with key orders announced to them only after the fact, staff gutted, and so on…

Last Sunday, Kellyanne Conway (likely another member of the inner circle) said that “It’s really time for [Trump] to put in his own security and intelligence community,” and this seems likely to be the case…

Especially if combined with the DHS and the FBI, which appear to have remained loyal to the President throughout the recent transition, this creates the armature of a shadow government: intelligence and police services which are not accountable through any of the normal means, answerable only to the President.”


This should be cause for alarm, perhaps even widespread panic, and indeed I thought it was when I attended a meeting to “plan the apocalypse” with what I assumed were fellow radicals.

The clothing should’ve been a hint I was drastically out of my element: my blue air-force windbreaker, emblazoned with a dancing grim reaper patch that said “Life’s A Joke,” was a stark contrast to the natural dyes, dreadlocks, and earth tones I began to swim in. The “plan,” revealed in a haze of cigarette smoke, was apparently to buy land in the Philippines, hire a bunch of natives, and live in treehouses off the grid.

In short, colonize an island and tame it with our own pocket proletariat.

Questions of whether I would be allowed to fire high-caliber revolvers within village limits were met with disdain; I was as equally put-off by discussions of “forming a corporation” and paying locals “more than they’d usually make, but not too much” for domestic servitude.

While I puzzled over what madness might inspire someone to found a tree-top ayuhasca compound in a country who’s president compares his slaughter of drug users to the likes of Hitler the Trump Train kept on rolling.

Sean Spicer defended Bannon’s appointment, noting it was perfectly normal to have one’s Chief Political Führungsoffizier on the Reich Cabinet, plans were being drafted to scrap what little regulations existed on big banks and overtime pay, and a little farther down the line legislation would be introduced that would effectively kill Unions once and for all.

But the big shock came on the night of January 30th, when Trump fired his acting Attorney General and acting head of Immigration Enforcement for not being loyal to him and having the audacity to question the legality of his actions.

My head practically exploded when I heard the news.

Abject terror and shock filled the room. This was it. This was the moment when everything went wild and nobody knew what to do. Power had been seized and its limits being tested. He was popular with the police, the military. If Trump went further who would stop him?

My mind thrust into my body, assaulted by images. A swirl of implications and possibilities swirled before me. Maybe there was something to this Russia business, some kind of grand deal. Putin sits at a large oak table, casually showing Trump how China harvests organs from prisoners on several televisions around the room. He talks quietly over the screams of agony. “You know China wants to be number one,” he says, “We don’t want that, neither do you. Join us and you’ll be rewarded.”

Hell of a play, simply stunning. A new alliance: Russia and the US, now both authoritarian, standing against “communist” China. My gods, it made sense didn’t it? Why else had China just put nuclear missiles on its border with Russia? Why would the supposed leaker of a supposedly fake dossier suddenly wind up dead? Why would 19.5% of Rosneft, Russia’s state oil company and the very same company mentioned in the infamous Pissing Dossier, be sold to parties unknown in an array of shell companies at almost exactly the same amount supposedly offered to Trump?

By the gods, how deep did this thing go? How large was the plan here? “You’ll be strong, you’ll have religion,” Putin continues, “free to do as you want. Do you know how China treats its people? Do you want that for the world? Only together can we keep them at bay.” Trump nods, authoritarian rule the only way to go, too much to risk to put it in the little people’s hands. Look how well it worked for Russia, he’d think, they were doing what needed to be done, what had to happen for survival. Besides the people had chosen him….


https://godsandradicals.org/2017/02/07/ ... ing-point/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:13 pm

THE ATTRACTION OF FAR RIGHT GROUPS TO PUTIN

Tell MAMA United Kingdom 07 Oct. 2015

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We highlight how far right groups like Britain First support the actions of Putin who see him as a 'Christian bulwark' against the Middle East and predominantly Muslim states in the Caucasus. For them, Putin remains their hyper-masculine, moral, cultural and patriotic vanguard against Islam.

More than 40 Syrian rebel factions have condemned the Russian involvement in a war that almost brought President Bashar al-Assad a "crushing defeat”. The United States views the Russian bombing of CIA-backed rebel forces as an intentional act.

Nor can Russia stop 'volunteers' fighting in pro-Assad ranks. For some, this is a continuation of an old alliance. Russia’s ties with Syria deepened when the Soviet Union forged a militaryalliance with Bashar al-Assad's father, Hafez. As Charles Lister argued “Russia's claim that its forces are there only to target Islamic State should be taken with a large grain of salt”.

In spite of this continued crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to draw support from the British far-right. Britain First wrote "We say well done Russia and good luck!" when news of the first airstrikes broke.

The party accepts the Russian narrative without question – including the annexation of Crimea. Britain First extends a measure of support to Assad’s regime as a buffer against the competing totalitarianism of ISIS.

A recent pro-Assad Facebook post read "TYRANTS DON'T VOLUNTARILY OFFER TO STEP DOWN. ASSAD HAS BEEN FIGHTING ISIS AND AL-NUSRA FROM DAY ONE. THE WEST'S ACTIONS IN SYRIA HAVE ONLY FACILITATED TERRORISM".


Continues at: https://www.byline.com/column/21/article/469
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:52 am

"Neither Right nor Left"?


Minimalism At Home, Maximalism abroad: The Curious Case of Islamophobic Anti-Islamophobia

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Artwork by Molly Crabapple

Every once in a while, this space christened the Left—of whose foundational texts and core values I largely hold in regard—feels like a foreign place. The paradox is that occupying a place on the Left, a priori, is “supposed” to feel like refuge.

A curious phenomenon I’ve come across on the Left is a politics of pro-Muslim islamophobia. Take for instance Angela Merkel’s proposition to ban the Niqab, or the face-veil. Of course, a ban would be an affront to egalitarian ideals. And a ban should be very much be opposed. But one noticeable knee-jerk reaction—even cliche—that many progressives have produced is that such an initiative would alienate German—and by extension all—Muslims, if not impel them to active opposition or radicalization. This is profoundly mistaken. There is no data that supports such a conclusion.

But it’s worth noting, first, the problematic nature of the underlying presumption: that Muslims define themselves by loyalty to tribe and religion first. Nation—and the liberal democratic values it embodies—coming last. Second, much of these discussions have the familiar feel of a “gotcha” game between a strand of Euro-American feminism that is supportive of such measures and a strand which is critical of them. What’s not accounted for is an ongoing and long-tradition of intra-Islamic debates on women’s rights—led by Muslim feminists—and secularism.

If Islamophobia is in fact a form of irrational fear, then perhaps we can presume that there’s a fear of Muslims when one is unwilling or incurious to engage with these discussions in their own terms. They speak of Muslims, but not with Muslims, or rather they’d only speak with those best tokenized. The subaltern can in fact speak, but they must say what fulfills the our constant desire for self-problematization. When the Other is invoked, he or she is held up as mirror to ourselves. Tell us about our qualities.

Frederic Jameson once wondered if capitalism can’t survive without the fantasy of a socialist utopia on the horizon. In the same breath, we can ask if imperialism and racism can’t survive without the fantasy of a non-imperialist, non-racist utopia. Not that those utopias are beyond the possible, as there’s no way to prove that. The point is that a certain dominant strand of anti-capitalist or anti-racist or anti-imperialist ideology ultimately ends up reproducing its object of negation precisely those ideologies place themselves mainly in negation, rather than in offering a way out and a positive vision. In other words, anti-islamophobia defines itself against a Big Other and eschews challenging the legitimacy of key Islamophobic premises. In form, such a politics challenges Islamophobic discourse but in substance it keeps in place and reduces the dominant signs and symbols, opting to only invert them. In practise, what contemporary anti-Islmaophobia does is to adapt better to the ever-widening goalposts determined by the Right. “Trump is a hypocrite because he didn’t ban Saudis and Egyptians in his executive order,” as some have argued. Ergo, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that any political activity will ultimately mimic what it defines itself against.

To gnaw at identifying the sources of the issue, one must carefully probe the singularity of the Muslim Question.

Anne Norton, author of The Muslim Question, has argued that she sees the “Muslim question as the Jewish question of our time: standing at the site where politics and ethics, philosophy and theology meet. This is the knot where the politics of class, sex, and sexuality, of culture, race, and ethnicity are entangled; the site where structures of hierarchy and subordination are anchored. It is here, on this terrain, that the question of the democratic — its resurgence or further repression — is being fought out.”

This aspect is fairly well-known and correct. But the risk of reducing the rights of the Muslim into a touchstone of progress or fraudulence of liberal democracy inevitably comes with the risk of solipsism about a question that is by no means limited to the geographic confines of the West. It is precisely failing to note the global aspect of the Muslim Question that leads to the supposedly paradoxical nature of anti-Islamophobic islamophobia.

“si vous êtes pris dans le rêve de l’autre, vous êtes foutu.” (If you are trapped in the dream of the other, you are screwed)—Gilles Deleuze

Some on the Left attempt to speak of the global dimension—often only by obligation when an Islamist terror attack in the West takes place—but their failure to go beyond superficial gyrations indicates why the discussions of Muslims in the West is flawed.

Ranging from the bien-pensant liberal to the generic Marxist, the figure of the Muslim is akin to a transistor on a circuit board. They’re there receive and amplify the force of current exerted upon them. Accordingly, such current take form in racist exclusion, legal inequity, (neo)colonialism, or crude bombs made in the West—never indigenous oppression. If we wish to turn off violence perpetrated by the Muslim, we shall stick to the mechanistic laws of physics: just switch off the current! The active role is Western racism and imperialism, the passive role is occupied by the Muslim. We are the reason they exist in the way they exist. They have no history before we show up. We ultimately pay the price for what our governments do abroad. Sometimes it is admitted that there is a mediating ideological factor, such as Wahabist and Salafi-Jihadist ideology. But it is only “forced” upon Muslims against their will by the Saudi authorities worldwide. Of course, this too presumes that Muslims are passive actors readily vulnerable to be imbued by radicalizing influences.

After this has been established, any discussion of the radicalization of Muslims assumes the familiar feel of it approaching the end. This depoliticized framework results in the disarmament in the face of the the Islamophobic Right. As Hannah Arendt noted, “It has been one of the most unfortunate facts in the history of the Jewish people that only its enemies, and almost never its friends, understood that the Jewish ques­tion was a political one.”

If the constant rise of Islamophobia is any indicator or the fact that the fall of anti-Muslim prejudice has not been coeval with the fall in other forms of prejudice, it’s that the Islamophobic Right has been winning this battle precisely because it has politicized the Muslim Question. The Left doesn’t politicize the Muslim Question, whereas the Right does just that —though in a deliberately malevolent fashion. The Left, by definition the active agent of history, has decided that its role is to provide the Right with the driving seat on this question, opting for the role of simply opposing its every action.

Consider the dilemma: how is it that the Left is more or less opposed to the bigotry led by the Right against Syrian and Muslim refugees, but some sections of the Left are in agreement with the Right that all, or most, of the opposition to supposedly anti-Western regimes like Bashar Al-Assad’s or Muammar al-Qaddafi’s regime is led by proxy groups and/or fanatical jihadists? Why is it that it’s ubiquitous to see Leftists warn of instability if Assad is deposed, but no warnings are ever pronounced of a withdrawal of Israel occupation from the West Bank?

Examples abound. Stephen Kinzer thanks Russia for its bombing campaign, Robert Fisk, Vijay Prashad and Ajamu Baraka argue that there are “no good guys” in the opposition—despite Assad bearing the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties. Tariq Ali has called for a joint Russian-US campaign to destroy the opposition and ISIS. Jill Stein has even went as far to say that the goal of the US government is to help “restore all of Syria to control by the government.” United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) staged a demonstration where they carried the regime’s flag. Veterans For Peace has sent a delegation to meet Assad in his palace in Damascus. Stop The War Coalition in the U.K. has went as far as to refuse a platform for anti-Assad Syrian and even call on the police to arrest them. Examples abound.

A close inspection of the mainstream armed Syrian opposition would demonstrate that they are more or less just as fundamentalist as Hamas and Hezbollah. Leaving the fact that there are democratic and anti-sectarian elements opposed to Assad, it appears that the Syrian opposition’s curse is that they aren’t fighting Western imperialism, but Russian imperialism. Which at any rate hardly qualifies as imperialism at all in certain Left quarters. Of course, it’s hard to find an example of a Leftist voicing concern about the populations that are living under the boot fundamentalist groups like Hamas or Hezbollah. Let alone those groups’ exploitation of workers. But once the fairytale of a fanatical Syrian opposition controlled by the West has been established, the victims of those groups are recognized because they are “our victims.” Their goal is not to challenge those who are committing and justifying the largest perpetrators of crimes—of which there are plenty of on both Left and Right—but to challenge the “Western” narrative.


Continues at: https://pulsemedia.org/2017/02/12/minim ... amophobia/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:08 pm

For America’s Sake, We Need Answers about Russia. Now.

Why we must now ask famous questions that so bedeviled Richard Nixon: What did Donald Trump know and when did he know it?

by Michael Kinship

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These first weeks of the Trump White House have felt like one of those tennis ball machines run amok, volley after volley shooting at us in such rapid fire that often the only reaction is to grimace and duck. Outrage after outrage, imperial pronouncement after pronouncement, lie after lie; it’s just one damned, fast and furious, flawed thing after another.

All of this is confusing and distracting and of course, that’s precisely what they want. As the old saying goes, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. It easily distracts us from the real issues, diverting our eyes from those important things that have to be closely examined and resolved if we’re to continue trying, at least, to behave like a free nation.

Outrage after outrage, imperial pronouncement after pronouncement, lie after lie; it’s just one damned, fast and furious, flawed thing after another.

One of those burning issues is Russia, which largely seemed to go off the scope in the days immediately before and after Trump’s mini-inauguration, even though around the election and in the weeks after we heard a great deal about Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the release of emails aimed at defeating Hillary Clinton — allegations that were backed by the US intelligence community. With the FBI, those spy agencies also have been investigating intercepted communications from Russian intelligence. And then there’s that infamous “dossier,” compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, filled with thus far unverified allegations about President Trump’s business dealings with Russia as well as certain salacious tales of his purported extracurricular activities there.

But with the resignation of Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn, in the wake of news reports about his December phone calls with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and word that US intelligence has confirmed some of the information in the Steele dossier, interest in Russia has rekindled, and a good thing, too.

On Thursday night, The Washington Post released the story that Flynn “privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.”

This was followed by Monday night’s breaking news from the Post: “The acting attorney general informed the Trump White House late last month that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and warned that the national security adviser was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail, current and former U.S. officials said.” Within hours, Flynn was out.

What’s more, at week’s end, as the Flynn story was beginning to unfold, CNN reported that investigators have now corroborated some of the less personal information in the Steele dossier, conversations among Russian officials: “The corroboration,” the network reported, “has given US intelligence and law enforcement ‘greater confidence’ in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier… Some of the individuals involved in the intercepted communications were known to the US intelligence community as ‘heavily involved’ in collecting information damaging to Hillary Clinton and helpful to Donald Trump, two of the officials tell CNN.”

And it raises the famous questions that so bedeviled Richard Nixon: What did Donald Trump know and when did he know it?

These latest developments came on the heels of Trump’s astonishing remarks to Bill O’Reilly, in an interview pre-taped for Super Bowl Sunday, when Trump said he respected Putin and O’Reilly noted that the Russian leader is a killer: “There are a lot of killers,” Trump replied, sounding more like a two-bit Al Capone than the leader of the free world. “We have a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?”

This is way beyond troubling, so it merits noting some of the other news about Russia that has transpired in the last few weeks, news that might have flown under your radar while Trump’s fusillade of executive orders and tantrums was bombarding your every waking moment.

All of it is serious business, specifically when it comes to figuring out just why Trump is so deeply enamored of Vladimir Putin and how much Russia interfered with our election, and more broadly for what it says about Trump and his chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s vision, God help us, of a world divided and dominated by white nationalists.

For one, and speaking of killers, there’s the matter of the missing Russian intelligence men, all of whom may be connected to the Trump affair. Amy Knight, former Woodrow Wilson Fellow and author of Orders From Above: The Putin Regime and Political Murder, writes in The New York Review of Books, “… Since the US election, there has been an unprecedented, and perhaps still continuing shakeup of top officials in Putin’s main security agency, the FSB, and that a top former intelligence official in Putin’s entourage died recently in suspicious circumstances.”

She’s worth quoting at length:

“It appears that the Kremlin has been conducting an intensive hunt for moles within its security apparatus who might have leaked information about Russian efforts to influence the US presidential election. In mid-December 2016, following public assertions by leading US intelligence officials that Russia had intervened in the election, two high-level FSB officers, Sergei Mikhailov, deputy chief of the FSB’s Center for Information Security, which oversees cyberintelligence, and his subordinate, Dmitry Dokuchayev, were arrested. (Russian authorities reportedly took Mikhailov away from a meeting of the FSB top brass after placing a black bag on his head.) The two men — along with Ruslan Stoyanov, who headed the Kaspersky Lab, a private company that assists the FSB in internet security — were charged with state treason. Russian independent media reported that the men had been responsible for leaks to Western sources, including US intelligence, about Russian cyber attacks against the US and also about Russian covert efforts to blackmail Donald Trump…

“Also, the authoritative independent Russian business daily Kommersant reported two weeks ago that Andrei Gerasimov, chief of the FSB’s cyberintelligence department, and Mikhailov’s boss, would be fired, although Gerasimov’s dismissal has yet to be officially confirmed. According to Russian security expert Andrei Soldatov, the upheaval in the FSB amounts to a purge of the entire Russian state security team dealing with cyberintelligence and cybersecurity.”


Then there’s a former KGB and FSB general, Oleg Erovinkin, found dead in the back of his car in Moscow on Dec. 26, officially from a heart attack, but as Agatha Christie would say, foul play is suspected. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports:

“Erovinkin was a key aide to Igor Sechin, a former deputy prime minister. He has been described as a key liaison between Sechin and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now head of the state-owned oil company Rosneft, Sechin is repeatedly named in the so-called Trump dossier… [Christopher] Steele wrote in the dossier, which was dated July 19, 2016, that much of the information it contained was provided by a source close to Sechin. That source was Erovinkin, according to Russia expert Christo Grozev of Risk Management Lab, a think-tank based in Bulgaria.”


Through their mutual love of petrochemicals and profits, Igor Sechin and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil are pals, and in fact Sechin complained that US sanctions against Russia kept him from coming to America to “ride the roads…on motorcycles with Tillerson.”

In December, Russia announced the sale of a 19.5 percent share of Rosneft, that massive government oil company run by Igor Sechin. He and Putin appeared on television to announce the deal, and Reuters reported that Putin “called it a sign of international faith in Russia, despite US and EU financial sanctions on Russian firms including Rosneft.”

Supposedly the transaction is a fairly straightforward joint venture between Qatar and Glencore, a Swiss firm, but as Reuters noted,

“Like many large deals, the Rosneft privatization uses a structure of shell companies owning shell companies, commonly referred to in Russia as a ‘matryoshka’, after the wooden nesting dolls that open to reveal a smaller doll inside. Following the trail of ownership leads to a Glencore UK subsidiary and a company that shares addresses with the Qatari Investment Authority, but also to a firm registered in the Cayman Islands, which does not require companies to record publicly who owns them.”


So who’s really behind the deal? Its convolutions may have the potential for a John Le Carre novel or Bourne movie. Some have even noted, as Amy Knight does, that coincidentally, “The Steele dossier… mentions that Carter Page, a member of Trump’s foreign policy team during his campaign, had a secret meeting with Sechin in Moscow in July 2016, in which the two reportedly discussed the possible lifting [of] US sanctions against Russia, in exchange for a 19 percent stake in Rosneft (It is not clear from the memo who would get the stake, but apparently it would have been the Trump campaign)” [Italics mine. mw]. She speculates that this, too, may have been another leak by the now-deceased Oleg Erovinkin.

A 19 percent stake in Rosneft, versus a 19.5 percent stake… admittedly, it’s a stretch, and probably nothing more than an odd coincidence, yet stranger things have happened, especially given the Bizarro World we now inhabit. But what’s not a stretch is that beyond the particulars, beyond whatever reasons, blackmail or otherwise, that Trump is so under Vladimir Putin’s spell, there is a global agenda both men share that’s the real danger.

Urged on by his American Rasputin, the ineffable Bannon, for all intents and purposes Trump is promoting white nationalism and what many call “traditionalism,” a worldview shared by Putin. It’s no coincidence that the Russian kleptocrat and his government also are supporting and being embraced by far-right political parties and leaders throughout Europe, including Marine LePen’s National Front in France, Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD), Golden Dawn in Greece, the Ataka Party in Bulgaria and Hungary’s Jobbik Party.

In a 2013 speech at the Valdai conference in Russia, Putin warned, “We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilization. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.”

And here’s Trump consigliere Steve Bannon on the dangers of what he calls “jihadist Islamic fascism.” In 2014 he told a conference at the Vatican: “I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis… There is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global… Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is, and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it, will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act.”

Asked about support for Putin and Russia from France’s National Front and Britain’s United Kingdom Independent Party (UKIP), Bannon replied, “One of the reasons is that they believe that at least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions, and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism — and I think that people, particularly in certain countries, want to see the sovereignty for their country, they want to see nationalism for their country. They don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union or they don’t believe in the centralized government in the United States.”


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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:05 am

Authoritarian-Neoliberalism: The Specter of Pinochet

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This essay explores the rise of populist demagogues and the economics of their regimes. Rather than marking a clear break with neoliberalism or a direct tie to early twentieth century fascism, these figures historically connect to the regime of Augusto Pinochet and illustrate a growing trend of authoritarian-neoliberalism.

The phrase “never forget” bears a particular significance in the twenty-first century, recalling immediately images of the 9/11 attacks on the centers of global power; Wall Street, the Pentagon, and the White House. When one considers that these attacks justified the global war on terror, which has in turn led to the rise of the Islamic state in regions destabilized by the chaos of war, it becomes clear that remembering this event is indeed crucial; however, there is another September eleventh worth remembering—September eleventh 1973, the day of the Chilean coup d’état that exalted Augusto Pinochet to the presidency.

This coup d’état proceeded a period of unrest facilitated largely by economic warfare waged by the United States, in the form of Henry Kissinger’s blockade under the Nixon Administration. 1 This blockade was formed due to Chile’s democratically elected leader, Salvador Allende, refusal to support the political and economic isolation of Cuba and because of the threats posed to American company profits by potential Chilean nationalization under his administration. Indeed, the United States government was even involved in the coup itself. As early as 1970 the CIA maintained, “It is our firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup.” 2 On September eleventh 1973 this coup was initiated and included the bombing of La Modena Presidential Palace and in the death of Allende, either by assassination or by suicide. After seizing power, Pinochet’s newly formed junta locked hundreds of thousands of people in detention centers, “disappeared” (killed) at least 2,279 for political reasons, 3 and tortured another 31,947. 4 Pinochet took power by military force and used military force to maintain his regime.

Supporters of Pinochet’s government included the Chicago Boys, a group of Chilean economists under Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago, who instituted a neoliberal economic agenda in Chile under Pinochet. Shortly after the coup, the United States ended the blockade and provided economic assistance to the newly instated government. 5 The regime and its neoliberal policies are often credited for massively improving the economy of Chile but it is clear that without the US-facilitated coup, there would not have been US-facilitated aid and trade, which was crucial for the clientelistic economy.

In effect, Pinochet was the first neoliberal dictator. He was not the first capitalist dictator, as in a sense; any capitalist state forms a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. But in the more traditional sense of “dictatorship,” Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, South Korea’s Park Chung-hee, the German and Italian fascist governments, Estadio Novo in Portugal, Franco’s Spain and numerous other right wing dictators embraced forms of capitalism before Pinochet. Where Pinochet’s rule truly differs from these regimes is that his iteration of capitalism companies was far less corporatist because of the massive presence of US, allowing for a strong authoritarian police state to coexist with economic liberalization, globalization, and privatization.
Of course, it is necessary to note here that continental power relations have changed to some extent. Noam Chomsky notes that

It was pretty clear at that time that at the next hemispheric meeting, which was going to be in Panama [7th summit of the Americas 2015], if the U.S. still maintained its position on these two issues [militarized war on drugs and isolation of Cuba], the hemisphere would just go along without the United States. Now, there already are hemispheric institutions, like CELAC, UNASUR for South America, which exclude the United States, and it would just move in that direction 6


While Chomsky suggests that the hemisphere may no longer ubiquitously acquiesce to the interests of the United States, this decreased power does not mean that the position of the United States has been completely superseded. For example, Michel Temer, the current president of Brazil who came to power after a parliamentary coup, has again concentrated top positions of power in the hands of white men and seeks to maintain neoliberal economic policies. Temer has been an informant for the United States on policy related to Brazil. 7 Thus, the influence of the United States is not as potent as it once was, but it is still evident.

But just because the United States’ enforcement of its will across the entirety of a hemisphere has been dampened, does not mean that the ghosts of its imperial past do not still haunt the world. Pinochet’s model of governance in particular seems to have remarkable significance in the present day; this model of authoritarian governance and ruthless market liberalism is being globalized by the rise of right-wing populism, returning home to the United States in the form of Donald Trump. This same legacy can also be seen in Narendra Modi of India, Vladamir Putin of Russia, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, or in events such as Brexit, which indicate the rising power of a broader right-wing populism sweeping the world, particularly—though by no means exclusively—in developed nations. While the sentiments motivating it are often quite different, the results have been a doubling down on globalized capital under a more authoritarian state structure.

Pinochet’s ghost also appears culturally, in the alt-right’s embrace of his ideology, legacy, and likeness, in the form of memes. This cyber popularity is part of the broader effort to utilize popular culture to normalize white supremacism, fascism, and general far right ideology that helps the alt right to gain relevance and cultural capital. There are several Facebook pages dedicated to Pinochet, including Spicy Pinochet Memes and Pinochet Helicopter Rides and Rentals (which is a reference to his practice of throwing leftists out of helicopters and is now popularly and positively referenced by the alt-right). There is also a Reddit page r/Pinochet and several “dank meme stashes” that show the supposed current relevancy of Pinochet’s rule and ideology. What was once a relatively fringe Internet ideology has received mounting attention due to the associations between key figures in the Trump team and the alt right movement. Specifically, this link is shown by Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon the head of right-wing news source Breitbart that serves as a gathering space for the alt right, as his chief strategist. Moreover, alt-right leader Richard Spencer even gave a speech after Trump’s election complete with the refrain “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” 8 While this statement is a clear reference to Nazi Germany, Pinochet also serves as a regular reference for the movement. With Pinochet’s specter already haunting the political landscape it seems only natural that it should also haunt the broader cultural landscape through cyberspace and the far right.

While the pathway taken to power by Pinochet is very different from the path taken by the current batch of right-wing populist figures, who have mostly taken power through electoral rather than military victory, there are certainly similarities between the processes worth exploring. There have been many comparisons made between these new demagogic figures and fascism, as there has been with Pinochet, and there is a certain use to this rhetorically as well as to explain certain elements of the regimes. Culturally the movements rely on similar sentiments and both clearly practice authoritarian governance, however the economic structures differ considerably.

The Trump campaign championed a strong message of national rebirth typified by the slogan “make America great again.” Implicit in this statement is an assumption of past greatness, an assumption that faces a strong challenge by the legacies of genocide, slavery, imperialism, ethnic cleansing and capitalist exploitation that tar the state’s history. Quite simply, it is a message of palingenetic ultra-nationalism, the core fascist myth.

[Palingenetic ultra-nationalism] Promises to replace gerontocracy, mediocrity and national weakness with youth, heroism and national greatness, to banish anarchy and decadence and bring order and health, to inaugurate an exciting new world in place of the played-out one that existed before, to put government in the hands of outstanding personalities instead of non-entities.9


Palingenesis can also can be seen in Pinochet with quotes such as “They entrenched the above goals, the armed forces and police will lead to the restoration of our democracy, which must be purified rebirth of vices and bad habits that ended up destroying our institutions” from a public speech exactly a month after taking power. 10 This speech also invokes a Portalian spirit, recalling Diego Portales, a Chilean capitalist and presidential minister who helped shape nineteenth century Chile into an authoritarian government voted on by rich men. This national rebirth, formulated as a return to a semi-mythical past, is an essential part of a fascist project. It is evident to varying degrees in the various right wing populist figures and regimes today.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also invoked rebirth in a formal political statements, such as in a speech last year saying, "Let November 1 [the date of parliamentary elections] be the date of rebirth for our nation. I am calling upon all of you to bury terror in the ground…" 11 He then went on to condemn the People’s Democratic Party, a left wing party that aligns with Kurdish interests, accusing them of direct links to the PKK, an armed group Kurdish organization in conflict with the Turkish state that has transitioned from orthodox Stalinism to a Murray Boockchin influenced libertarian socialism that the Turkish state considers a terrorist organization. Of course, this speech also displays a second similarity with traditional fascism: ethno-nationalism. Erdoğan’s invocation of a “terrorist” threat tied to an entire ethnic minority bears an eerie resemblance to Trump’s invocation of the threats posed by Muslims and refugees, which has also led him to call for the ban of all Muslim travel to the United States. This type of exclusionary ethno nationalism is also present in the presidency of Modi in India. Although he has reigned in his rhetoric somewhat since he condoned murderous anti-Muslim riots in 2002 in Gujarat, he has done little to stop the rising tide of Hindu Nationalism in his own party. 12 Putin, another similar figure, has demonstrated imperial desires in both Syria and the Ukraine and is known to make statements such as, “To forgive the terrorists is up to god, but to send them to him is up to me.” Which is indicative of both the machismo culture that pervades these new rulers, and of the logic of violent authority. Of course, the Russian army bombing campaign in Syria has been brutal. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric is employed by the resurgent far right across Europe. This ethno-nationalism certainly ties to traditional fascism and has violent impacts.


Continues at: http://libcom.org/blog/authoritarian-ne ... t-15022017
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby tapitsbo » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:51 am

"Artwork by Molly Crabapple" weev and Laurie Penny's Discordian friend? Nothing to see here lmao
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby Iamwhomiam » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:06 pm

Every so often I'll read a comment that astounds me for one reason or another, sometimes because of its absurdity when considering the content being commented upon. Yours is just such a comment, tapitsbo.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:22 am

Ilya Budraitskis
What Can We Learn from Vampires and Idiots?

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The German socialist August Bebel once called anti-Semitism “the socialism of fools.” He had in mind that a fool from the lower classes, indignant at the existing state of things instead of seeking the genuine reasons for his discontent concealed in the capitalist means of production, found a facile but false target in Jews. The result of this fool’s bad decision could prove catastrophic: instead of joining the ranks of socialists, he became their fiercest and most dangerous adversary. “Socialist foolishness” merits neither indulgence nor understanding. It is, moreover, a formidable weapon in the hands of elites, who are wise enough to know how to exploit it.

This kind of connection between the foolishness of the lower classes and the devious resourcefulness of the upper strata is not, of course, unique to the massive fascist movements of the twentieth century. Rather, what we are talking about here is something more complex and multifaceted, which possesses a tremendous ability to adapt to the new circumstances faced by the conservative spirit today. This style of thought linking the upper and lower stratas is making electoral breakthroughs once again, like those of Trump in the Republican primaries in the US, the Brexit vote in the UK, and parties such as Marine Le Pen’s Front National in Europe.

...It’s worth noting that Vladimir Putin, whose mutual sympathies with Trump are well known, also owes the popularity of his public image not to his loyalty to “Orthodox traditions,” but to his cruel realism and cynical jokes. In Putin’s Russia, state policies pertaining to moral discipline (e.g., the state’s official homophobia, its limits on abortion rights, etc.) serve not to restore “traditional values,” but rather to elevate the general level of cynicism. Patriotic bureaucrats send their children to study in London while Orthodox deputies enjoy themselves at private gay parties. They are permitted to do what they condemn others for doing—for the simple reason that they are on the highest rung of the social ladder. This is the “naked truth,” for which all the hypocritical acts of the ruling class serve as a demonstration. In order to prevail over modernity, conservatism needs to tear off its moral veil and bring into the open any tacit inequality. Conservatives must force everyone to reconcile themselves to this very real inequality as the only lawful reality—this is the historical task of the conservative. An authentic conservative moral revolution, a real return to the greatness of the idyll of yesteryear, can be carried out only when the ethics of the Enlightenment are turned inside out and buried. One can say that this insurgent, cynical conservativism is the political consequence of the neoliberal era. It turns historical materialism on its head, calling for us to recognize the actual relations of domination and submission not in order to change them, but to reconcile ourselves to them once and for all.


http://www.e-flux.com/journal/76/72878/ ... nd-idiots/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:54 pm

Why The Left Should Worry About Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Ed Merta


Today, amidst accusations of Kremlin interference in U.S. politics, the question of Russia still divides the community of believers collectively known as the left. For some of them, denunciation of Vladimir Putin’s regime betrays a naïve refusal to question the propaganda of Western media corporations loyal ultimately to a centuries old architecture of oppression, backed by state-sanctioned coercion and violence, manifested most obviously in the financial and military power of the United States.

Others, who also question the U.S.-dominated global order, take a different view. For them, Putin’s reign is a kind of living death, not because American corporate propaganda says it is but because the truth of human experience shows it to be so. In this view, the reality of America’s imperial failures and atrocities doesn’t diminish or deny the testimony of those who have endured Putin’s Russia.

The testimony is damning if true. Dissidents speak of a Russian president who deploys the state security apparatus to tame the nation’s industrial oligarchs, enlisting their far flung factories, refineries, data networks, broadcast centers, media productions, and finances for Putin’s own ends. By his control of state surveillance and security operations, Putin conditions the personal safety and property of the oligarchs on the fealty of private capital to the state. Consequently, doing business in Russia means paying bureaucrats for their continued favor and state intelligence services to look the other way.

The resulting loyalty of industry and finance to the regime ensures the obedience of media corporations, extinguishing freedom of expression and the press. Daily life is smothered in a suffocating electronic miasma of pro-Kremlin media saturation, an alternative universe in which Putin and state-aligned businesses are celebrated and political dissent depicted as treason, amidst endless streams of anesthetic escapism via television and the internet. This virtual reality construct of politics and life excludes meaningful dissent, and thus elections consistently produce a compliant legislature loyal to the Kremlin.

With racism ascendant in Russian society, members of America’s neo-Nazi and KKK fringe have worked with Kremlin-friendly political parties to organize speaking engagements and conferences. Far-right anti-immigrant populist parties have expressed support for Putin in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Greece.

The legislature passes laws subjecting public assemblies, political organizing, community nonprofits, media organizations, and internet content to a bewildering quagmire of government-mandated registration and controls, with penalties for noncompliance that effectively criminalize significant political opposition. Other legislation imposes social dogma of the Russian Orthodox Church, a close Putin ally, by reducing access to abortion, criminalizing insults to religious believers, prohibiting distribution of gay-friendly information to youth, and reducing criminal penalties for domestic violence.

Russian courts and police dutifully enforce the hyper-conservative laws emanating from the pro-Kremlin legislature. Arbitrary fines and prison sentences, often on seemingly fabricated charges, can unexpectedly descend on critics of the regime in apparent retaliation for dissent, including against uncooperative entrepreneurs, opposition politicians, LGBT activists, environmentalists, and even artists like the musical group Pussy Riot. Members of that band were imprisoned for alleged acts of “religious hatred” after performing feminist anti-regime songs inside a Russian Orthodox church. Besides such official legal sanctions, dissidents often finds themselves subjected to online harassment and physical assault by mysterious thugs. Over a hundred journalists have been murdered in Russia since Putin first became President in 2000. Nine prominent political critics of Putin have been assassinated.

Putin’s influence extends to forces far beyond Russian borders. His government has forged close ties to the Christian right in the United States, based on a common hostility to secularism, abortion, women’s rights, and LGBT equality. Kremlin surrogates cooperate with the World Congress of Families, an international alliance of right wing activists dedicated to preserving white Christian civilization and the patriarchal family against an onslaught by gays, feminists, secular humanism, and rapidly breeding masses of nonwhites.

With racism ascendant in Russian society, members of America’s neo-Nazi and KKK fringe have worked with Kremlin-friendly political parties to organize speaking engagements and conferences. Far-right anti-immigrant populist parties have expressed support for Putin in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Greece. Nationalist fervor with an authoritarian, anti-democratic cast now dominates the vision of Putin and his inner circle. They speak of a future Eurasian power bloc based on doctrines of Slavic manifest destiny and racial supremacy.


http://sandiegofreepress.org/2017/02/wh ... out-putin/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:50 pm

PUTIN TEST (VI): VLAD SAVICH

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It may be better to ask the question: Why do we need elections? Not only in the United States, but around the world? I have two answers, it’s true.

When I lived in the USSR, I went to the elective areas because over there I could buy sausage. The stores didn’t sell sausages then. Well, very rarely. In those days, there was much fighting there. Lack of sausage in the stores was, of course, the result of the election of the Soviet people.

In Canada, I go and vote , because I can relax a few hours away from my hard work. Another thing I noticed is that in Canada, before the election, we have discounts on alcohol and dealers lower the price of heroin. In a sober state, going to the elected areas isn’t possible.

I have a cat. Her name is Frida. Also, in my house I have a small computer. It has only two buttons. Yes – No. Why should there be more? As one book says:

“Let your speech be yes, yes; no. No, for what is more than this comes from evil.”

When I have to make a choice, I give this computer to my cat. Believe me the probability of my cat making the correct choice is greater than for me.

Perhaps we should elects leaders with the help of cats, dogs or random people from the Yellow pages?

Continues at: http://queenmobs.com/2017/02/putin-test-vi-vlad-savich/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:12 pm

David Duke Has Endorsed Tulsi Gabbard: Will Gabbard disavow OR normalize the KKK Grand Wizard?

Nov 26, 2016

I was not particularly surprised when Tulsi Gabbard met with Donald Trump on Monday since I’ve been raising questions with the media about whether Rep. Gabbard was Trump’s kind of Democrat since July. I have also questioned why Gabbard was in the same room with Republican billionaire Sheldon Adelson when he first declared his support for Trump in early May.”

However, the fact that Gabbard has now been publicly endorsed by a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan — who strongly supports Trump’s selection of Stephen Bannon — is an indication of an increasingly disturbing trend in her affiliations and raises questions about the nature of Gabbard’s appeal to white nationalists.




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More at: https://medium.com/@shaychanhodges/davi ... 04d0f895d#
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:10 pm

Putin's Rasputin has a message for Donald Trump's White House: 'Call me'

Ultra-nationalist Alexander Dugin wants to help make the Russia-US axis great again.

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Those fans include white supremacist Richard B. Spencer and many others on the alt-right, including the right wing publishing house Arktos, which is currently translating and publishing four of Dugin's books. He is a regular contributor to Spencer's website, alt-right.com, and Spencer's wife, Nina Kouprianova, has reportedly translated his works into English.

These links – as well as his long history of contentious and inflammatory outbursts – have frequently led to the accusation that he is a fascist, but it is one he firmly denies. He said that while the American far right may have been drawn to his writings, attempts to paint him as either a fascist or a racist are efforts on the part of the liberal establishment to discredit both him and Putin.

"It is completely wrong. I am conservative Russian and I am anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-liberal [and] anti-communist. This is a defamation campaign directed against myself, against Russia, against our president," he said.

He is, however, a traditionalist and his work has heavily influenced the so-called 'identitarianism' movement promoted by Spencer and the alt-right. "I am anti-racist. I affirm that very culture – black, yellow, red, white – has the right to affirm its identity," he said.


...Dugin believes that America could align with Russia, Turkey and Bashar al-Assad to end the war in Syria. Or as an alternative policy, Trump could withdraw from the conflict in Syria and allow Moscow, Tehran and Assad to beat Isis and end the conflict. His only concern is that Trump will row back on his election pledges and enter the war by backing anti-Assad rebels, which would be a disaster for the new president.

"If America continues as in the time of Obama to support by any means anti-Assad opposition then it will be difficult. Syria is the test for the real Trump. I would be very sad if Trump chose this way, conventional American interventionism and globalism. And support for radical Islamism. He was totally against that," he said.

Image


http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/putins-rasputi ... me-1607981
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:38 pm

The Rise of the ‘Traditionalist International’: How the American Right Learned to Love Moscow in the Era of Trump

By Casey Michel

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Introduction

Following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, two American contingents appeared to stand ascendant in the U.S.: white nationalists and the Religious Right. The former, ideological descendants of the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow-era legislators, would like to return white supremacy to both state and federal law—or, barring that, break off part of the U.S. to form a white ethno-state wholesale. The latter, meanwhile, would allow Christian fundamentalism to become the U.S.’s de jure national religion, with attendant legislation targeting LGBT and minority religious communities alike. Both white nationalists and the Religious Right tossed vociferous support behind Trump’s candidacy during the recent presidential election, and both contingents thrilled at Trump’s unexpected victory, as well as the authoritarian bent he’s quickly brought to the executive branch.

However, Trump is not the sole leader that both of these cohorts vocally support. Indeed, for America’s white nationalists and for many within the Religious Right, there is only one country, and one leader, worth emulating. Rather than model their goals solely on a glorified Confederate past or lavish praise only on defeated fascist regimes in Europe, the figureheads of America’s far-right have found a new lodestar in Moscow.

The examples of far-right Americans praising the Kremlin are as myriad as they are obvious. For Richard Spencer, the coiner of the term “Alt-Right” and a leader of the emerging white nationalist faction it represents, Russia is both the “sole” and “most powerful white power in the world.” Matthew Heimbach, head of the white nationalist Traditionalist Worker Party—and someone who, like Spencer, desires the creation of a whites-only nation-state within the U.S.—believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is the “leader of the free world,” one who has helped morph Russia into an “axis for nationalists.” Harold Covington, the white supremacist head of the secessionist Northwest Front, recently described Russia as the “last great White empire.” And former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke has said he believes Russia holds the “key to white survival.”

Of course, the idea of Russia as some sort of “white empire” is, to an extent, merely a fantasy held by American and European white supremacists. Not only does Russia routinely jail and sideline the most outspoken members of its domestic white supremacist movements, but Putin routinely offers support to Russia’s ethnic and religious minority communities when it suits his political aims.

Nonetheless, over the past few years the Kremlin has increased both rhetorical and financial support for far-right movements across the West, including in the U.S. These movements encompass a wide range of right-wing ideologies, such as the white nationalists who have seen Kremlin-tied organizations provide everything from official backing to logistical support for trans-Atlantic networking in order to bring like-minded bigots together. The Kremlin, through financing and conferences, has also built up ties with America’s Religious Right, whose leaders, despite rejecting the overtly race-based visions of individuals like Spencer, share white nationalists’ admiration for Russia’s authoritarian ruler.

At the moment, any financial links between the Kremlin and America’s white nationalist and Religious Right contingents remain minimal, or obscured through assorted third parties. But the organizational support the Kremlin has lent to these groups remains both under-studied and underappreciated—even as, over the past few years, it has noticeably increased. (In this report, we use the term “white nationalism” to describe the American movement that would seek, either via secession or changes in policy, to re-impose explicit white supremacy in all or part of the country. This group includes those like Heimbach, Spencer, and Covington, who all propose cleaving off swaths of the U.S. to create a whites-only state. We consider large segments of the “Alt-Right,” which melds racism, misogyny, and rank anti-Semitism with aggressive online trolling, to be a distinct but clearly related form of white nationalism.)

Before detailing such admiration—and mutual support, financial and otherwise—between Russia and the U.S.’s far-right, it’s worth examining the appeal Moscow maintains with these right-wing movements. The Kremlin, most especially in Putin’s third term, has presented itself as a bulwark of so-called “traditional” values, including opposing LGBT rights, dissolving the barriers between church and state, and entrenching domestic dictatorship with tactics like fraudulent elections and the stigmatization of domestic activists who advocate for progressive legislation.

Likewise, and despite Putin’s domestic support for minority constituencies, Moscow over the past few years has managed to create an image of itself abroad as a center for these values against a libertine West—of a white, Christian nation-state, undeterred by legal niceties, standing up against the nefarious forces of “religious tolerance” and “gay rights.” Even something like Russia’s annexation of Crimea—recognized by only a handful of dictatorships, including North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Kazakhstan—appeals to those members of the West’s far-right who view the illegal land-grab as a throwback of empire and expansion: of might making right.

To be sure, there are different avenues of Russia’s appeal for both the Religious Right and white nationalists in the U.S. For the American Religious Right, as detailed below, Putin is the foremost defender of nominally “traditional,” and nominally Christian, values. For white nationalists, Putin—via both his illiberalism and anti-Western bent—remains a political polestar, whose authoritarian model should be implemented within the U.S. And such support didn’t arise in a vacuum. Since he returned to the presidency in 2012, Putin has made a concerted effort to establish his country as a center for religious, especially Christian, conservatives throughout the world, most notably for those who oppose any legal or public support for same-sex relationships. This shift has taken the form of legislation that prioritizes the interests of the Russian Orthodox Church, that rolls back abortion rights, and that sidelines attempts within the LGBT community to obtain any kind of societal acceptance. Even Moscow’s ban on Americans adopting Russian children managed to gain support within the U.S.’s far-right, with anti-equality Christian activists praising Putin’s move as one that would prevent children from living with same-sex parents.

Likewise, Putin’s attempts to distance himself from the West with this focus on “traditionalism” both mirror and reinforce the increasing geopolitical distance Moscow has created between itself and Western governments, as seen most explicitly with Russia’s ongoing occupation of Crimea. All the while, those close to the Kremlin have been expanding their outreach to members of Europe’s far-right, ranging from directing funding to France’s National Front party to inviting Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party to visit the Crimean peninsula, allowing the West’s far-right an opportunity to support Moscow’s claims to Ukraine’s peninsula.

Indeed, the burgeoning affinity within America’s far-right for Moscow parallels a phenomenon we’ve seen play out through Europe over the past few years. From far-right actors in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria, as well as neo-fascist contingents in Serbia and the United Kingdom—even extending to populist movements in countries like Italy and Germany—those among Europe’s most outspoken right-wing contingents carry an increasing affinity for Moscow. “Prior to 2010, one would be hard-pressed to find public statements in praise of Putin by far-right leaders,” Alina Polyakova recently noted in Foreign Policy. “Today, they are commonplace.” Such praise often overlaps, as with the American example, with certain policy prescriptions, from barring immigration to fracturing the European Union and NATO wholesale. Unwinding the trans-Atlantic liberal order has become a clear goal during Putin’s third term—and so too has this become the primary goal linking Europe’s mushrooming hard-right factions.

As such, far-right Americans’ newfound ardor for Moscow is of a piece with their European equivalents. And now, the ideological affinity and logistical ties between these right-wing movements and Russia’s leadership have taken on a new significance in the era of Trump.

Without fail, every one of the American far-right leaders discussed in this report—as disparate as their ideologies may be—supported Trump’s presidential candidacy. And Trump has done little to dissuade these individuals, and these movements, that they won’t have a sympathetic ear in the White House. Nor, of course, has Trump done anything to disabuse Putin of the idea that Moscow suddenly has a regressive, illiberal friend in Washington—a partner who will provide cover for those far-right Americans, those white nationalists and Religious Right figures, with whom the Kremlin and its allies are already working to build ties.

White Nationalists, Trump, and Putin

In early 2015, the leading lights of Europe’s far-right, including members of Austria’s Freedom Party and Greece’s Golden Dawn, met in St. Petersburg, Russia. The meeting, on its own, was one of the most notable gatherings of Europe’s regressive, xenophobic far-right in years. The group organizing the event, the Russian Imperial Movement, is itself an outgrowth of groups like Rodina—a Russian political party founded by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, a high-ranking Kremlin official charged with running Russia’s defense industries.

Among the Americans attending the conference was Jared Taylor—one of the foremost proponents of “race realism,” which claims genetic superiority for Europeans—who spent his time at the conference condemning America’s liberal policies, including support for same-sex relations. Taylor was joined by Sam Dickson, a former KKK lawyer and another prominent face of American white supremacism. Echoing his European counterparts, Dickson used the opportunity to praise Putin for helping encourage higher birthrates, and exhorting his compatriots to preserve “[the white] race and civilization.” (It remains unclear who paid for the Americans’ travel.)

The conference was, more than anything else, a networking event—and an opportunity for the trans-Atlantic far-right to unite in support of rolling back liberal policies, expelling non-whites from their countries, and unwinding Western democracy. It was also an opportunity for attendees to vie with one another in their praise for the Kremlin, and to lay that much more groundwork in the pursuit of what Matthew Heimbach, as detailed below, has called the “Traditionalist International.”

It’s worth noting that the current crop of leaders within American white nationalist circles—which includes Spencer and Heimbach, as well as, to lesser extents, Taylor and Dickson—relies on rhetoric that is different from that of previous iterations of the white supremacist movement. For instance, this new crop of white nationalists places less explicit emphasis on the notion of the supremacy of one race over any other. Spencer and Heimbach attempt to mask their white supremacy by professing co-equal respect for whites and non-whites alike, and claim that they are merely fighting for an all-white state alongside attendant states for other races. “I support white power, black power, brown power, and yellow power,” Heimbach recently said. “All races should be the dominant political force in their region. That is why America needs to be divided into smaller, ethnically and culturally homogeneous states. … We need to stop the hate and separate.”

Yet Spencer and Taylor, despite the claims that their movement has little to do with traditional white supremacy, have both espoused bogus biological theories about racial difference—a classic tool of white supremacists—in attempts to justify their view that the U.S. must undergo a separation of the races. Interestingly, and perhaps predictably, there is no universally accepted definition of “white” that exists within the white nationalist movement. For example, while Spencer considers his wife, Nina Kouprianova, to be white, other outspoken members of the white nationalist movement—including Southern nationalist Greg Johnson—point to Kouprianova’s Georgian heritage as evidence of what they claim is her non-European lineage.

Whatever nominal differences remain between the current crop of white nationalists and holdovers from an earlier era, there was little question about which candidate these contingents preferred in the 2016 presidential election. Duke not only endorsed Trump, but was inspired by Trump to once more run for office. Spencer held a now-notorious rally after Trump’s election that culminated in shouts of “Hail, Trump!” Heimbach, for his part, was accused of violence against those protesting Trump. And Taylor recorded robocalls to rally support for Trump, whom Taylor said would see that immigrants should be “smart, well-educated white people” rather than Muslims. In all, America’s white nationalists and white supremacists were effectively uniform in their support for Trump.

But white nationalists’ support for Trump didn’t stem solely from his claims that Mexican immigrants were “rapists,” his vow to block Muslims from traveling to the U.S., or his sharing of faulty, racially charged crime statistics with millions of followers on Twitter. Indeed, much of Trump’s appeal for white nationalists can be found, unsurprisingly, in incendiary outlets like Breitbart, recently led by Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon. (Among the tags Breitbart uses for stories: “black crime,” “feminazi,” and “left wing thugs.”) White nationalists also viewed the foreign policy Trump espoused during the presidential campaign—a mix of America First isolationism, appeasement of Russian expansionism, and aggressive distrust of multilateral organizations—with glee.

And they all—white nationalists and Religious Right figures alike—looked fondly on what appears to be Trump’s mutual admiration of their authoritarian hero, Putin.

Alexander Dugin and ‘The Eternal Rome’

A key player in cementing ties between Moscow and American white nationalists like Richard Spencer and Matthew Heimbach is Alexander Dugin, erstwhile Kremlin confidant and Russia’s most well-known neo-fascist ideologue, whose work maintains an outsized influence both in Moscow and within the EU’s far-right.

Dugin’s primary claim to notoriety—when he’s not calling for genocide against Ukrainians, at least—stems from his re-formulation of the theory of “Eurasianism,” a geopolitical theory that posits Russia, an “Eternal Rome,” as a bulwark of conservatism against a weak-kneed West. While Dugin’s influence within the Kremlin remains over-hyped, one of his books, “Foundations of Geopolitics,” is assigned to every member of Russia’s General Staff Academy, among other Russian military institutions.

Since the Crimean annexation, Dugin’s views—especially those placing Moscow as the primary barricade against a global assault of progressive values—have gained notable traction within like-minded movements in Russia and the U.S. For instance, Alex Jones, the face of conspiracy site InfoWars and a full-throated supporter of Trump, appeared with Dugin on Russian television in December 2016 to discuss Trump’s election. As Dugin told a supportive Jones, “Anti-Americanism is over! Now the people of free America, free Russia, all anti-globalists of the world, should build a new world—a new architecture!”

Richard Spencer and Nina Kouprianova

For those who have just discovered the increasingly visible white nationalist movement in the U.S., Richard Spencer is one name that generally rises to the fore, thanks to the glut of press attention he received around Trump’s presidential candidacy. Spencer, who splits his time between Montana and Virginia, runs a “think tank” called the National Policy Institute (NPI), as well as the primary white nationalist periodical, Radix Journal.

The Virginia-based NPI, founded in 2005, claims to be an “independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.” Spencer has used NPI to push both rank anti-Semitism and dreams of monoracial statehood in America, stating that the creation of a whites-only state is his “grand goal.” He’s said that such a state will be crafted through “peaceful” ethnic cleansing, although he has admitted that such “peaceful” ethnic cleansing could involve bloodshed.

As a 2016 New York Times article described, Spencer spent a celebratory post-election rally in Washington “rail[ing] against Jews” and declaring that the U.S. “belonged to white people, whom he called the ‘children of the sun.’” At the same event, Spencer led supporters—many of whom responded to Spencer with Nazi salutes—in denouncing the “Lügenpresse,” a Nazi-era descriptor for the media, before leading his followers in chants of “Hail, Trump!”

Spencer’s preferred policies also echo the Kremlin directly. To wit, he has lifted language from Moscow in describing Ukraine’s 2014 EuroMaidan revolution—which he has claimed was financed by liberal American philanthropist George Soros—as a “coup,” and has called to break up NATO. Spencer has also noted that he “admire[s]” Putin, and has described Russia as the “sole white power in the world.”

Spencer has additionally begun writing for Dugin’s website, including a recent article describing the “purpose and meaning of the Alt-Right movement.” Further, in 2014, Spencer attempted to organize a white nationalist conference in Budapest featuring a number of European white nationalists and neo-fascists, including members of Hungary’s Jobbik party—a party that supplied putative “election observers” to the 2014 Crimean “referendum” on joining Russia. (The referendum, as mentioned above, was recognized by only a handful of autocracies and Russian client-states.) Spencer invited none other than Dugin to speak at the conference, but Western sanctions prevented Dugin from entering the country.

Spencer is also married to Nina Kouprianova, who was born in the Soviet Union and educated in Canada. (The two are currently separated.) Kouprianova, who writes under the nom de plume Nina Byzantina—and is occasionally identified as Nina Spencer—has not only spent the past few years defending regressive Kremlin policies on her popular social media accounts, but has additionally translated Dugin’s work into English. Indeed, the only books Kouprianova lists among those she’s translated are those by Dugin.

While she says that she has never met Dugin, Kouprianova has called him a “well-educated scholar” unfairly maligned by the “Western media.” Kouprianova has been outspoken in defense of the Kremlin’s anti-liberal policies, as well as her husband’s neo-fascist ideas, and has defended Moscow’s militarized policies in both Chechnya and eastern Ukraine, the latter of which she has consistently referred to as a “liberation war.”

Matthew Heimbach

Matthew Heimbach, the Indiana-based head of the Traditionalist Worker Party, has been called the “Little Fuhrer” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Among the Traditionalist Worker Party’s goals: revoking birthright citizenship, creating a separate whites-only homeland, and the removal of U.S. authority from “occupied territories” like Hawaii.

The 26-year-old Heimbach initially gained notoriety in 2013 when he founded a “White Students Union” at Towson University, and received further coverage for a 2016 incident in which he was caught shoving an anti-Trump protester at a Trump rally in Kentucky.

Heimbach has gone to even greater lengths than Spencer or Kouprianova in praising Putin’s machinations. On Twitter, Heimbach has referred to Putin as the “best European leaders [sic] of the 21st century,” claiming that Russia, under Putin, has demonstrated a “rediscovered purpose of supporting Tradition, Christianity, and identity.” Heimbach has peppered his tweets with #HailPutin and #PutinForTsar hashtags, and, in 2015, led a rally in which Confederate and Russian Imperial flags flew side by side. He has further tweeted out photos of Confederate and Russian flags paired together, and has shared a photo of himself and a handful of “comrades” smiling in front of the flag of “Novorossiya,” the fanciful political entity Russian-backed separatists have attempted to create in eastern Ukraine. Heimbach has even called Russia the white nationalist movement’s “most powerful ally,” as well as shared a photo of himself holding Dugin’s book and the flag of the neo-Confederate League of the South. In 2016, Heimbach described Putin as both the “leader … of the anti-globalist forces around the world” and the “leader of the free world,” one that has now morphed into an “axis for nationalists.”

For good measure, Heimbach has also said that he’d prefer the U.S. fracture into multiple race-based enclaves, citing the USSR’s dissolution in 1991. (While it’s beyond the purview of this report, it’s worth noting that Moscow has also begun funding efforts to organize America’s domestic secessionists, who wish to rupture the U.S. on a state-by-state level.)

It is Heimbach’s conception of Russia as this “axis for nationalists” that has helped him collaborate with like-minded white nationalists in Europe. He has conducted at least three tours of Europe, meeting with far-right members of Greece’s Golden Dawn, Romania’s New Right, and Germany’s National Democratic Party, among others. In the fall of 2016, Heimbach planned his first visit to Russia, seeking to attend the World National Conservative Movement conference, a reprise of the 2015 conference attended by Taylor and Dickson. The organization behind the conference, again, was the Russian Imperial Movement. This group, an outgrowth of Rogozin’s efforts, describes its ideology as “Christian Orthodox imperial nationalism.” Its stated goals include dissolving both the EU and NATO. (According to researcher Anton Shekhovtsov, the Russian Imperial Movement also maintains ties with former separatist leaders in Ukraine—one of whom was funded by ultra-Orthodox oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, who has maintained his own links with those building ties with the American Religious Right.) Heimbach noted that the planned conference would include “a broad coalition of all ethno-nationalists—all nationalists that reject neoliberalism, and reject globalism, coming together as a united front, based out of Russia.” That conference ended up being postponed, but Heimbach has continued piling on his praise for Moscow.

One person who has taken note of Heimbach’s work is, unsurprisingly, Dugin. In 2015, at the official unveiling of the Traditionalist Worker Party, Heimbach managed to host a Skyped-in speech from Dugin, whose discussion was titled “To My American Friends in Our Common Struggle.”

David Duke

David Duke, perhaps the most prominent face of outright white supremacy in the U.S., has described Russia as the “key to white survival,” and has added that, “Of the many capital cities of Europe, it is accurate to say that Moscow is the Whitest of them all.” According to the Anti-Defamation League, Duke also views Russia as a nation that “presents an unmatched opportunity to help protect the longevity of the white race.” Duke—who has claimed that he lived in Russia for five years, and saw one of his books sold in the Duma—has praised Putin’s policies on Twitter, including Russia’s actions in Syria, and called for an “alliance” between the U.S. and Russia. Duke has additionally met Dugin on at least one occasion, although the circumstances of this meeting remain clouded.

Meanwhile, Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand has reported that Duke maintains an apartment in Moscow, one that he has sub-leased to Preston Wiginton, an American neo-Nazi who has helped host lectures from both Spencer and Dugin—the latter, again, via video—at Texas A&M University over the past two years.

Secondary figures within the American white nationalist movement have similarly expressed their admiration for Putin while promoting propaganda from the Kremlin-funded media. Harold Covington—the head of the Northwest Front, an organization seeking to lead a white supremacist secession movement in the Pacific Northwest—has described Russia as the “last great White empire.” And Mike Cernovich, whom The New Yorker calls the “meme mastermind of the Alt-Right,” has repeatedly shared material from Kremlin-funded media on his popular Twitter account, often accompanied by Kremlin-friendly commentary. In October, Cernovich tweeted, “Putin is a larger than life alpha male who loves his country and will fight to defend it. Why *don’t* you admire him? Brainwashing.” A few weeks later, Cernovich shared a story from Kremlin-funded Sputnik News, commenting, “American Media (terrorist organization) v. Putin. I believe Putin!”


Continues at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/report/th ... -of-trump/
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