From liberal beacon to a prop for Trump: what has happened to WikiLeaks?
A series of hacked emails appear designed to aid Donald Trump fight back against Hillary Clinton, while raising questions about Russian involvement
Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, remains holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London after claiming asylum.
David Smith in Washington
Friday 14 October 2016
How did WikiLeaks go from darling of the liberal left and scourge of American imperialism to apparent tool of Donald Trump’s divisive, incendiary presidential campaign?
Thursday brought another WikiLeaks dump of nearly 2,000 emails hacked from the Hillary Clinton campaign, allegedly by Russians. As usual, they were inside-the-beltway gossip rather than game-changing: the campaign tried to push back the Illinois primary, believing it would make life harder for moderate Republicans.
That has not stopped Trump trying to make hay from the leaked emails and deflect attention from allegations of sexual harassment against him. “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “So dishonest! Rigged system!”
Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street banks were apparently revealed in an email dump last Friday, just minutes after the release of a video in which Trump was caught boasting about groping women – timing that many felt was more than just chance. This follows a hack in July designed to embarrass Clinton on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.
Robert Mackey of The Intercept website wrote in August: “The WikiLeaks Twitter feed has started to look more like the stream of an opposition research firm working mainly to undermine Hillary Clinton than the updates of a non-partisan platform for whistleblowers.”
The seeming alliance between Trump and WikiLeaks is an astonishing role reversal. In 2010 it was lauded by transparency campaigners for releasing, in cooperation with publications including the Guardian, more than a quarter of a million classified cables from US embassies around the world. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange became a hero to many.
At the time, Republican politicians expressed outrage at WikiLeaks, but now some are seizing on its revelations as potential salvation for Trump’s ailing candidacy. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, took part in a media conference call about an email that purportedly showed Clinton campaign mocking Catholics.
Conversely, liberal activists have expressed dismay at the hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account and the calculated timing of the release. Neil Sroka, spokesperson for the pressure group Democracy for America, said: “There is a huge difference between risotto recipes in John Podesta’s emails and the Pentagon Papers. The news value of these Podesta emails is fairly limited and the activist value is even less.”
Sroka added: “WikiLeaks is like the internet. It can be a force for good or a force for bad. Right now it is propping up a candidate running the most hateful campaign in modern times.”
Last week US intelligence officials blamed Russia for previous hacks. It is not yet known whether Podesta’s emails were hacked by the Russians, but US officials say the attack fits the same pattern. Russian president Vladimir Putin has denied the allegation.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters on Thursday: “The Department of Homeland Security took the unprecedented step of saying ... beyond any doubt that this hack and then the leaking of the emails was perpetrated by the Russian government for the purpose of intervening in the election and trying to affect the outcome in favor of Donald Trump. This is getting closer and closer to the Trump campaign itself.”
All of which raises the question: do Assange, Putin and Trump form a triangle? Are they in communication with each other or merely exploiting a coincidence of interests?
Trump has praised Putin and numerous links with Russia have emerged this year. But on Wednesday he denied any business interests beyond staging Miss Universe there. He has contradicted earlier statements about knowing Putin.
Assange was asked by Democracy Now earlier this year whether he prefers Clinton or Trump. “You’re asking me, do I prefer cholera or gonorrhea?” he replied. Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks editor, has said it would publish documents damaging to Trump if it had them. “It’s not that we’re choosing publications to pick a certain line,” she told Bloomberg.
But some observers argue that Assange’s war on Clinton is personal: she was secretary of state at the time of the diplomatic cables leak. Her perceived secrecy and hawkish foreign policy represents the antithesis of his anti-US imperialist worldview. The capricious, nihilistic, non-ideological Trump might seem like a kindred spirit by comparison.
Alina Polyakova, deputy director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, said: “My impression of Julian Assange is that he sees US hegemony in the international world order as the biggest problem facing us today. In his attempt to bring ‘transparency’, he ends up siding with the very regimes that deny transparency and human rights. That’s the irony of my enemy’s enemy is my friend.”
She added: “I think the Russian government is in fact using WikiLeaks: the connection seems pretty clear to me. Is the Trump campaign tied to WikiLeaks? That’s hard to say but I would be surprised if there’s no coordination.”
Russia has uncomfortable associations for WikiLeaks. In 2010 its point man there, Israel Shamir, was exposed as an antisemite and Holocaust denier. A website, xsrxxlshaxmxr.com, carries numerous articles, one of which comments: “Ms Clinton decided to blame her spectacular lack of success on Putin, as well. If she were honest, she’d admit that she is unpopular, even among her own milieu.”
In an email, Shamir denied that Assange is coordinating with Russia. “The problem is that incredible revelations of emails are totally suppressed by the Clintonesque media,” he wrote. “Instead of discussing Clinton’s hate to ordinary Americans, Clinton’s order to assassinate Assange etc, you discuss whether Russians are involved. Shame!”
Assange's Extremist Employees
Why is WikiLeaks employing a well-known Holocaust denier and his disgraced son?
Michael C. Moynihan | December 14, 2010
It is worrying enough when journalists, either by accident or design, consort with vulgar figures like Shamir. But it has now been revealed that Israel Shamir, when he is not accusing Assange’s accusers of setting CIA honey traps, works with WikiLeaks in an official capacity.
According to reports in the Swedish and Russian media, the broad strokes of which have been confirmed by a WikiLeaks spokesman, Shamir serves as the group’s content aggregator in Russia, the man who “selects and distributes” the cables to Russian news organizations, according to an investigation by Swedish public radio. In the newspaper Expressen, Magnus Ljunggren, an emeritus professor of Russian literature at Gothenburg University, outlined Shamir’s close ties to WikiLeaks and his position “spreading the documents in Russia.” (The article is illustrated with a picture of Assange and Shamir in an unidentified office.)
During an appearance on Echo Moskvy radio, Yulia Latynina, a reporter at the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, wondered “What does it mean that Assange is allowing himself to be represented by an extremist?” Latynina also found that the Kremlin-friendly paper working with Shamir to promote the WikiLeaks material had already published “outright lies” Shamir claimed were supported by leaks. According to Latynina, Shamir faked a cable related to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the United Nations, which supposedly showed collusion amongst those who walked out of the talk in protest. That he would invent such a cable is perhaps unsurprising, considering Shamir has previously written an encomium to the “brave and charismatic leader” of Iran.
So let us quickly recap the foulness of Shamir’s political views. As I noted last week, he has called the Auschwitz concentration camp “an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo),” not a place of extermination. He told a Swedish journalist (and fellow Holocaust denier) that “it’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.” The Jews, he says, are a “virus in human form” and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is real.
But wait, there’s more!
The Swedish media has identified Shamir’s son, a disgraced journalist named Johannes Wahlström, himself accused of anti-Semitism and falsifying quotes, as a WikiLeaks spokesman in Sweden. Indeed, Wahlström has authored stories based on the WikiLeaks material for the newspaper Aftonbladet and is credited as a producer on a recent Swedish public television documentary about the group.
But while being the son of a famous Holocaust denier is perhaps only suggestive—Wahlström is surely not responsible for his father’s many sins—his celebrations of his father’s work in print and his contributions to Shamir’s website suggest ideological affinity.* Indeed, in 2005 Wahlström wrote a story for the leftist magazine Ordfront arguing that Swedish media, not known for being friendly to the Jewish state, was in fact being manipulated by Jewish interests on behalf of the Israeli government.
Three of the journalists interviewed for the story—Cecilia Uddén, Lotta Schüllerqvist, and Peter Löfgren—claimed that Wahlström falsified quotes, leading the magazine to withdraw the story and issue an apology. Heléne Lööw, a historian of fascism and European neo-Nazism, commented that the Wahlström story contained all the “elements that one would find in a classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.”
A member of Ordfront’s editorial board, writing in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, lamented that the piece was ever published, citing Wahlström’s “close working relationship with Israel Shamir,” without pointing out just how close the two were.
Wahlström and Shamir, father and son, are the WikiLeaks representatives for two rather large geographic areas. According to Swedish Radio’s investigation, Wahlström is the gatekeeper of the cables in Scandinavia, and “has the power to decide” which newspapers are provided access and what leaks they are allowed to see. (At the time of filing, Wahlström had yet to respond to an email request for comment.)
In Russia, the magazine Russian Reporter says that it has “privileged access” to the material through Shamir, who told a Moscow newspaper that he was “accredited” to work on behalf of WikiLeaks in Russia. But Shamir has a rather large credibility problem, so Swedish Radio put the question directly to WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson..Swedish Radio: Israel Shamir…Are you aware of him? Do you know him?
Kristinn Hrafnsson, Wikileaks spokesman: Yes. Yes, he is associated with us.
SR: So what is his role?
Hrafnsson: Well, I mean, we have a lot of journalists that are working with us all around the world. And they have different roles in working on this project. I won’t go into specifics into what each and everybody’s role is.
SR: Are you aware of how controversial Israel Shamir is in an international context?
Hrafnsson: There are a lot of controversial people around the world that are associated with us. I don’t really see the point of the question
SR: Are you aware of the allegations that he is an anti-Semite?
Hrafnsson: I have heard those allegations…yes, yes. [Pause] What is the question really there?
SR: The question is, do you that that would [sic] be a problem?
Hrafnsson: No, I’m not going to comment on that.
Strip away the caginess and the obfuscation—remember, no one is allowed secrets but WikiLeaks—and Hrafnsson, who took over spokesman duties when Assange was jailed last week, confirms that WikiLeaks chose Shamir to work with their Russian media partners. After its investigation, the Swedish Radio program Medierna concluded flatly that "Israel Shamir represents WikiLeaks in Russia."
Jerky » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:38 pm wrote:AD is not spamming, and I, for one, appreciate his contributions to this board, probably more than anyone else's at this point - and CERTAINLY more than yours, McKookypuss.
Thanks for doing what you do, AD. You give me a lot of great food for thought, and are one of the only reasons I (and a few lurkers I know) even come here anymore.
AD, have you thought of setting up a blog where you could link your daily readings for those of us interested in following your stream of consciousness?
American Dream » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:31 pm wrote:Very interesting idea Jerky, as what y'all see here is only a drop in the bucket!
Jerky wrote:AD, have you thought of setting up a blog where you could link your daily readings for those of us interested in following your stream of consciousness?
American Dream » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:31 pm wrote:Very interesting idea Jerky, as what y'all see here is only a drop in the bucket!
While Trump Champions The Alt-Right In America, Putin Spreads Its Ideology Through Europe
Senior Research Analyst, People For the American Way
For years, the GOP has been moving away from its identity as a traditional center-right party and morphing into something that more resembles the populist fringe parties of Europe.
Donald Trump’s candidacy has all but completed this transformation. If anyone still had doubts, Trump’s hiring of Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon was the clearest sign yet that the Republican Party has become a vehicle for what in the U.S. is known as the ‘alt-right’ movement.
The alt-right thinks the mainstream conservative movement has been compromised by feminism, racial tolerance and “globalism,” and that only a reactionary, populist movement that speaks to the plight of white men can save America from political correctness and multiculturalism. The alt-right is drenched in racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and misogyny. But that didn’t stop Bannon from calling his outlet “the platform for the alt-right.”
While avowed white nationalists have always had a place in the conservative movement—most recently, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa proudly detailed his white supremacist views to a cable TV audience—Trump has thrown such forces into the mainstream.
Trump’s view of America as a weak, crime-ridden and chaotic place would resonate with any regular reader of Breitbart’s news coverage.
Breitbart News depicts an America where white people are under attack from the Obama administration, anti-Christian feminists and LGBT rights activists, African Americans who seek to discriminate against white people, Latino immigrants obsessed with rape and violence, and Muslim refugees who support terrorism.
The U.S. isn’t the only country experiencing a surge in the alt-right’s ideology. Anti-immigrant ethnic nationalists are on the rise in Europe, and European far-right leaders from France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen to the Dutch politician Geert Wilders have jumped aboard the Trump Train.
This is all good news to one of the European far-right’s most enthusiastic backers: Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia under Putin’s leadership has been promoting ultraconservative political groups in Europe with the goal of weakening the EU and the liberalism, democracy and cultural pluralism that comes with it. The National Front, a French political party rooted in Holocaust denialism and anti-immigrant sentiment, is open about its financial links to Russian banks, and neo-fascist parties including Jobbik of Hungary, Vlaams Belang of Belgium and the Northern League of Italy likewise have Russian ties.
“As European far-right leaders openly voice their support for Moscow, it would be wise to remember that Putin’s Russia is not just another ‘meddling power’ lobbying for its interests,” writes Alina Polyakova. “It is a government hostile to the West and the value system—democracy, freedom of expression, political accountability—that it represents.”
The Syrian refugee crisis has presented a great opportunity for these far-right movements in Europe to spread their messages of xenophobia. Russia, whose bombing campaigns in Syria have ravaged the civilian population, has been happy to help promote the anti-refugee message. Russian state-sponsored media outlets have enthusiastically fanned the flames of anti-refugee suspicion, bolstering the far-right’s criticism of how the EU and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have approached refugee resettlement.
The Russian government has also sponsored a global right-wing effort to portray the U.S. and Europe as victims of cultural rot due to homosexuality, abortion rights and secular government, and Russia as the protector and preserver of traditional Christian values. In 2014, major conservative groups from the U.S. and Europe convened at the Kremlin to praise the government’s crackdown on LGBT rights advocates while lamenting the social liberalism in their home countries.
Trump, who aspires to be the Russian president’s “new best friend,” has praised Putin as “a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” and has seemed to side with Putin’s position on the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and shared in fueling doubts about the future of the EU and NATO. Trump’s campaign is stacked with officials with Russian ties and, at least according to his eldest son, his businesses have seen “a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Merkel, on the other hand, has been a frequent target of Trump’s attacks, and the GOP nominee has dubbed Clinton “America’s Angela Merkel.” (Just to show how far to the right the GOP has drifted, Merkel is the leader of Germany’s main center-right party).
Beyond his expressed support for Russian policies, Trump seeks to govern in the same illiberal, authoritarian manner that Putin has demonstrated, itching to dilute the freedom of the press and laws barring war crimes and human rights abuses and deport undocumented immigrants and refugees legally settled in the country. Like the Religious Right activists who have rallied behind Putin, Trump believes that Christians have been sidelined and marginalized in America, promising to return them to their rightful positions of power.
Such contempt for civil rights, diversity and democracy pervades the alt-right, which calls for a more “masculine,” racially chauvinist response to a society it sees as weak and rootless. One alt-right meme shows “President Trump” congratulating Putin, both decked out in military garb, “on retaking Constantinople.”
While Trump and the alt-right emerged without the help of the Russian government, Putin’s display of authoritarianism and aid to far-right movements have helped bring their ultraconservative designs into the political mainstream.
Syria: 'pause' before international storm?
Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Tue, 10/18/2016
Even as Russia and the Assad regime instate a "humanitarian pause" in the bombing of Aleppo, air-strikes continue in the surrounding countryside. Some 2,700 have been killed or injured in the bombardment since pro-regime forces began their offensive on the city last month. Over 250,000 remain under siege in what was once Syria's commercial hub. The eight-hour "pause" was extended by three hours after the UN protested that this was not enough time to allow aid deliveries. (AFP, Oct. 18) In one of the last air-strikes before the "pause," at least 13 civilians were killed—including 11 from the same family, according to the Aleppo Media Center. A six-weeks-old baby girl was among the dead. (The Guardian, Oct. 17)
With international eyes on Aleppo, the regime continues to make advances elsewhere in Syria, thanks to Russian air power. Two enclaves in the suburbs of Damascus, al-Hameh and Qudsaya, fell to regime forces this week, with their rebel defenders and their families fleeing to rebel-held territory in Idlib governorate. It is unclear if non-combatant residents will be forcibly "evacuated" to regime-held territory, in what has been called the "ethnic cleansing" of fallen rebel enclaves. (Syria Direct, Oct. 13)
The "pause" is doing nothing to quell fears of an imminent superpower confrontation. Turkeys' deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus was the latest to warn: "If this proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war." He said the Syrian conflict has placed the world "on the brink of the beginning of a large regional or global war." (Middle East Online, Oct. 12)
Such fears attend the controversy over proposals for a no-fly zone in Syria—which the people of besieged Alleop have been demanding for months. Syria Solidarity UK has outlined a plan for a no-fly zone that would not involve actually shooting down Russian or even regime warplanes—but striking regime airbases in retaliation for violations of the NFZ.
Nonetheless, bogus pseudo-news sites like the (idiotically named) AntiMedia and even, sadly, sites we hoped were more legitimate like The Intercept are jumping dishonestly on a Hillary Clinton quote that emerged from the latest WikiLeaks dump, said before a meeting at Goldman Sachs: "To have a no-fly zone, you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk– you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians." AntiMedia offers this headline: "Hillary Calls for Killing 'a Lot of Civilians,' Starting War with Russia."
If you actually google the Clinton quote and go to a legit source like the New York Times and not some partisan bullshit site like AntiMedia, you will find that she was arguing against a no-fly zone! Not war-mongering and saying civilian casualties are acceptable, but exactly the contrary: looking for an excuse to nothing as Russia exterminates the Syrians. And this position—de facto collaboration with the Assad regime—has in fact been the actual US policy!
Donald Trump meanwhile plays to the peacenik crowd, saying that Clinton is too "tough" on Russia, and said that if he won the election, he might meet with Vladimir Putin before being sworn in. "They insult him constantly—I mean, no wonder he can't stand Obama and Hillary Clinton... It is the worst situation that we’ve had with Russia since the end of the Cold War, by far,... If I win on Nov. 8, I could see myself meeting with Putin and meeting with Russia prior to the start of the administration." (NYT, Oct. 18)
This is further evidence of Trump-Putin convergence. This, with his "bomb the shit out of 'em" comment clearly seeks to actively join with Russia in the destruction of Syria—with the perversely paradoxical support of some supposed "anti-war" voices.
Brown Is the New Black
Fashions come and go. And this year, across the broad swath of Eurasia, fascism is in.
By John Feffer, March 26, 2014.
The far right in Russia makes Ukrainian fascism look like child’s play.
The new spring season is just around the corner, and it looks as though the new “in” color is brown. That’s brown as in “brown shirts.” Perhaps you thought that fascism went out of fashion in the 20th century. But there’s nothing like a lingering economic crisis to bring out the vintage ideologies.
The far right is expected to do well in the upcoming European Parliament elections in late May, buoyed by the electoral strength of parties like the National Front in France. In the East, Jobbik in Hungary, Ataka in Bulgaria, and Golden Dawn in Greece have established footholds in their respective parliaments. And let’s not forget everyone’s new favorite fascist fad, Svoboda and Right Sector, in Ukraine.
The influence that the far right has right now on the interim government in Kiev is indeed worrisome. But they remain a minority and, judging by public opinion polling, will continue to be so after the next elections. Nevertheless, the Russian government has branded the entire post-Yanukovych ruling elite “fascist” and therefore illegitimate, and many overseas supporters of Russia’s actions in Crimea have followed suit.
What hasn’t received much attention, however, is the influence of the far right in Russia itself. It makes Ukrainian fascism look like child’s play.
Presidential elections in Russia, I once predicted, “may usher in an autocrat by democratic means, a la Germany in the 1930s.” Such an autocrat “could turn Russia into Chile on a grand scale, a Chile that not only clamped down on internal dissent but stamped out opposition in its neighboring countries as well.”
I published those sentences in the now-defunct Covert Action Quarterly in 1996, long before Vladimir Putin arrived on the political scene. I’d just returned from a trip to Moscow. At the time, Boris Yeltsin and his coterie of cronies were giving liberalism a bad name, fascism was making a comeback after many decades of hibernation, and several political strongmen were contending for the honor of ruling Russia with an “iron fist.” Military general Alexander Lebed, who had openly professed his admiration for Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, was one such candidate. He placed third in the 1996 presidential elections, eventually took over a governorship, and died in a helicopter crash in 2002.
But Lebed was in many ways just a moderate nationalist. A much more authentic avatar of Russian fascism was Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Openly anti-Semitic, deeply misogynistic, and thoroughly racist, Zhirinovsky has often been dismissed as simply a clown. But he has proven to be an enduring politician since he first emerged in the early 1990s talking about retaking Alaska, reviving the southern surge to the Persian Gulf, and redistributing free vodka and underwear. His Liberal Democratic Party—don’t let the title fool you—is currently the fourth largest in the Russian Duma, with nearly 15 percent of the seats.
Clown prince of politics or not, Zhirinovsky is currently the deputy speaker of the Duma. His party’s brand is “Greater Russia”—the revival of the once-mighty Russian empire—and this has become a much more popular vision than it was in the immediate aftermath of the Soviet Union’s demise. His approach to Ukraine is rather close to how Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic once viewed Bosnia. In a recent letter, Zhirinovsky proposed that Poland, Hungary, and Romania retake sections of Ukraine that had once been their territory, presumably as part of a land grab that would have Russia take over eastern Ukraine.
Zhirinovsky’s views, if not Zhirinovsky himself, attract wide support. Racism runs deep in Russian society. Racially motivated attacks and killings have been widespread, only 24 percent of the population (in 2011) rejects the slogan “Russia for Russians” as fascist, and an estimated 50,000 skinheads are active in Russia today. President Putin has condemned the use of racism in the media and politics, and the Russian Federation has more vigorously prosecuted neo-Nazi groups and racist crimes, as the most recent Council of Europe report notes. But the level of xenophobia in the country makes non-Slavs often feel unwelcome and under threat, to put it mildly.
The success of the far right, however, has not been simply to elevate Zhirinovsky in the Duma or to swell the crowds of neo-Nazis who march in Moscow and other major cities. Rather, the far right has been able to shape the very mainstream of Russian policy.
In many ways, Vladimir Putin is the autocrat that I imagined back in the 1990s would come to power. Russia remains a democratic state, but it is an “illiberal democracy” (as John Gray would say) or a “democracy with Russian characteristics” (as the Chinese might say). Putin’s party United Russia dominates parliament, and the president has systematically removed any potential challengers to his authority. For instance, he deployed his “iron fist” to rein in the oligarchs by arresting the country’s richest businessman and supporter of the political opposition, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and shipping him out to Siberia for 10 years. Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor who alleged large-scale state theft of money, died in prison. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who led huge demonstrations against Putin, was also thrown in jail. Although released after a few months, his probation bars him from running for political office for as many as 10 years. Even members of the flamboyant but rather innocuous punk band Pussy Riot were sent to the labor camps.
Putin tolerates very little dissent. He restricts the dissemination of information through state control of television and radio (and his government has targeted the remaining independent radio station, Ekho Moskvy, and TV station, Dozhd). Russia currently ranks 148th in the press freedom index from Reporters Without Borders, below Afghanistan and the Central African Republic. The state has also blocked opposition Internet sites, using a new law from December that allows the Russian equivalent of the attorney general to crack down on anything deemed “extreme.” The ministry of justice has used the law on “foreign agents” that went into effect last March to rein in the activities of thousands of NGOs throughout the country. Meanwhile, Putin has created a veritable cult of personality through youth organizations like Nashi (since disbanded) that glorified his policies and behaved like a gang of thugs against presidential opponents.
This, of course, is just run-of-the-mill authoritarianism, not fascism. But in other ways, the Putin government is pushing Russian policy even further rightward. This turn is most evident in foreign policy where Putin has put the protection of Russians in the “near abroad” at the center of his concerns. The seizure of Crimea—after a military intervention and a jury-rigged referendum—is only the latest in a series of efforts to expand the Russian sphere of influence that has included the 2008 war with Georgia, the support extended to breakaway regions like Transnistria in Moldova, and the funding of Russian nationalists in other neighboring countries like Latvia. The Crimean adventure, however, reveals the true nature of Putinism. He has cut Ukraine down to size in the same way he went after Khodorkovsky. Any person, institution, or country that dares to challenge his authority should expect to feel his wrath.
Still, this expansionist Russian foreign policy might seem like nothing more than ordinary imperialism. In the larger context of the revival of Eurasianism, however, it begins to assume a different character.
Eurasianism began in the Russian émigré community of the 1920s as a spiritual alternative to both Bolshevism and liberalism. A messianic vision that looked more into the future than back into the 19th century, it focused on Russia’s Asian roots (mostly imagined) and the country’s role in bridging two continents and many cultures. The Eurasianist philosophy drew on Slavophilism, but differed in important respects such as a statist predisposition and a streak of cultural avant-gardism. As such, Eurasianism offered a third path between communism and capitalism, Slavophilism and Westernism, Europeanism and Asianism.
In the 1990s, Eurasianism made a comeback in the work of analysts such as Yeltsin adviser Sergei Stankevich. This revival stressed historic destiny over pure rationalism and the interests of Russians over abstract liberal reforms. Eurasianism assumed a concrete form in the proposals of Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbaev for a “Eurasian” union that would anchor a stronger Commonwealth of Independent States. In striking a balance between Russian national interests and cooperation with the West, a Gaullist approach emerged that could be termed “moderate” Eurasianism.
But Eurasianism also has its more intolerant side. In 1995, for instance, the Russian Duma conferred its first “Milestone” award on late anthropologist and noted Eurasian scholar Lev Gumilev. Among other things, Gumilev was convinced both of Russia’s superiority to the West and the necessity of preserving the genetic stock of ethnic Russians. In the popular writings of Aleksandr Prokhanov, meanwhile, Eurasianism assumes the form of an Asiatic despotism shot through with European fascism. Eurasianism, in other words, can also be a facade for Russian racism and a vehicle for Russia’s colonial aspirations.
Putin has instituted a Eurasianism from above, with his updated version of Nazarbaev’s proposal—the Eurasian Union that currently counts Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as members. Ultimately, Putin wants to reconstruct an entity of the size and heft of the Soviet Union that can balance and bridge China to the east and Europe to the west. Ukraine is key piece of this jigsaw puzzle.
But there is also the Eurasianism from below. Far right movements in Europe have thrown in their lot with Russian fascist groups and with Putin’s government as well. Russian fascist political scientist Aleksandr Dugin has pushed hard for the most intolerant and racist version of Eurasianism, and he has attracted the support of Hungary’s Jobbik. Marine Le Pen, of the National Front in France, has also visited Moscow and sat down with more establishment figures, like Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who has long been a key member of the Russian far right.
If you add it all together—autocracy, imperialism, and a semi-mystical belief in the divine mission of ethnic Russians—the result looks browner and browner by the minute.
The West is partly to blame for not encouraging the more moderate version of Eurasianism to flourish in Russia. Instead of establishing a strategic partnership with Russia in the wake of the Cold War, the West pushed NATO ever eastward, violating a promise Washington made to Moscow in the early 1990s. The Atlanticists forced Ukraine to choose between east and west instead of creating space for it to be a Eurasian bridge. When it “lost” the Cold War, Russia wasn’t saddled with the kind of Versailles reparations package that helped foster the rise of Nazism in Germany. But Washington did precious little to stabilize Russia in the new economic and security architecture of Europe. It’s no surprise that the politics of resentment have produced both fringe fascism in Russia and the more mainstream but equally intolerant Eurasianism that serves a vehicle of Russia-firstism.
At the level of geopolitics, Washington needs to work with Moscow on a range of issues from arms control to the nuclear agreement with Iran. And there is still a chance that the crisis in Crimea will be a wake-up call to leaders on both sides that Eurasia versus Oceania doesn’t work any better in reality than it did in the pages of 1984. Still, we should have no illusions about the influence of the far right on Putinism and the gradual browning of Russia.
Fashions come and go. And this year, across the broad swath of Eurasia, fascism is in.
John Feffer is the co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus.
French Front National, Eurasianism and Putin’s Russia.
Pro-Putin French Far-Right.
A New Chapter in the Fascist Internationale
by ALEXANDER REID ROSS
With an insignia of a shield crossed by broadswords on a granite background, the World National-Conservative Movement announced its birth with the declaration, “The time has arrived to take responsibility for our peoples and nations of the world!” The confluence of some 58 parties, organizations, and groups, the World National-Conservative Movement (WNCM) developed out of the efforts of the Russian radical-right party, Rodina.
While its public document declares that “Communism, Nazism, and Islamism” comprise a “false alternative to totalitarian ideologies,” the WNCM’s ideology reads like a run-of-the-mill document of the radical right, which remains inextricably linked to fascism. Lamenting the sexual perversity of the super-national organizations like the EU and NATO, and calling for the return to the traditional “family and healthy moral values,” the WNCM attacks “the erosion of nations, massive migration,” which it blames on “liberalism, multiculturalism, and tolerance.” Instead, WNCM advocates “healthy nationalism and religious beliefs, patriotism, respect of one’s own and foreign traditional moral and ethical values, in other words, national conservatism.” Subverting the “global cabal” (read: Jews) requires a chain of “conservative revolutions” that will restore nations to themselves; “Victory of the conservative revolution even in one country without fail will provide an example for other countries.”
With participants including Golden Dawn, Jobbik, the Finns Party, and the British National Party, the WNCM hosts some of the most powerful radical right populist names in Europe. However, the umbrella group also includes some overtly-fascist groups and groupuscles like Poland’s Falanga, Italy’s Millennium and Forza Nuova, and the US’s American Freedom Party. Visiting senior fellow at London’s Legatum Institute, Anton Shekhovtsov, who broke this story on Thursday, characterizes the group as “clearly on the extreme right, verging on neo-Nazism.” That is putting it lightly. In spite of its formal denial, the WNCM seems more like a continuation of a potentially-disastrous formula combining fascist vanguards and populist radical right parties that continues to build steam around the world.
The Origins of the Fascist Internationale
In broad terms, it a “Fascist Internationale” that seems to be in the offing in the World National-Conservative Movement. The notion of a “left-wing” fascism, or a fascist system that would respect the autonomy of different nations while working co-operatively, developed out of the original “National Bolshevik” group, Association for the Study of Russian Planned Economy (ARPLAN), which featured Ernst Jünger and Georgi Lukacs, among others. These thinkers ideated, against the Hitlerite faction of National Socialism, that a bond between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany could work, because, in the words of völkisch thinker Artur Dinter, Bolshevik Russia would become “a ‘Russian National Socialism.’”
While ARPLAN found significant traction in the early Nazi Party, with Gregor Strasser featuring prominently as Hitler’s number two, their hopes would be dashed in the Night of the Long Knives. Gregor was murdered, and his brother Otto fled the country. After the war, Otto Strasser rose to prominence on the neo-fascist circuit along with French intellectual, Maurice Bardèche, Italian occultist Julius Evola, US agent Francis Parker Yockey, and Belgian odd-ball Jean-François Thiriart. These thinkers helped model a European Social Movement (known today as the “second position”) that looked to a European Nation highly influenced by British fascist Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement. The European Social Movement effectively passed out of existence by 1957, due to a split over the difference between racist politics and cultural hegemony. Although the idea of a European Nation continued, a “Third Position” would develop to carry on the banner of “neither left nor right, neither communist nor capitalist.”
After the decline of the European Social Movement, US fascist leader George Lincoln Rockwell set up a World Union of National Socialists (WUNS) in 1962 with founder of the White Defense League (predecessor to the current English Defense League) and British National Party, Colin Jordan, at the helm. While the WUNS is still around, it lacks the Strasserist edge, the focus on cultural hegemony, National Bolshevism, and Eurasianism, that has stimulated the supposedly anti-Imperialist politics that accompanied the outbreak of the Third Position. Another movement continued to build through European conferences and journals of the neo-fascist movement.
In the words of Francis Parker Yockey’s two-volume Imperium, “The Internationale of our times appears in a time when the Spirit of the Age has outgrown political nationalism. The Age of Absolute Politics will not tolerate petty-Stateism [sic].” Antagonistic to NATO forces in Europe, the neo-fascist movement developed a two-tiered dual power strategy known as the “strategy of tension” to at once gradually infiltrate European government and form direct action groups to engage in terrorist attacks that would push the citizenry closer to State protection. As fascist agents entered the governments of Perón’s Argentina and Nasser’s Egypt, a “true” Internationale seemed possible, if not in name then in deed. However, the negation of the modern nation-state required renewed cultural efforts to not only loosen the tension, but reposition politics in the aristocratic world of Empire. That is where Alain de Benoist entered the scene.
First affiliated with the fascist (Yockeyist) publication Western Destinies, Benoist joined the left-to-right magazine L’Idiot International, started by Jean-Edern Hallier with the initial support of Sartre and Beauvoir (though the latter distanced herself from the publication fairly quickly). As he climbed through the ranks of the post-68 political miasma, Benoist became the cultural editor at Le Figaro, and exploded onto the intellectual scene during the “hot summer” of 1979. It was the year after Italian authorities incarcerated Antonio Negri for allegedly masterminding all of European terrorism from his small professor’s office in Padua, Italy, and the “Gramsci of the Right,” Alain de Benoist, helped to fill the empty space.
Sponsored by Marco Tarchi in Italy and the National Front’s Michael Walker in Britain, among others, the New Right affected a strategy of cultural hegemony to embrace the diversity and “grey eminences” of European life. With direct affiliations to National Bolshevism and Third Positionism, the New Right tethered a kind of sophisticated fascist cultural subtext to Italian terrorism and skinhead street violence. The themes of the revolutionary “new man” through the rebirth of European cultural greatness gained currency not only on the right, but on the left as well. In 1992, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, the New Right passed the proverbial baton to the New Russia.
About Russian Politics
Russian politics is sensitive business. Accusations of affiliation with the KGB were virtually ubiquitous throughout the radical right during the collapse of the Soviet Union (and in some cases not unfounded). One of the early converts to the idea of pan-European right wing through an International Center of Right-wing Parties, Zhirinovsky developed important ties to Western right-wing populist parties like the National Front almost overnight. Key technological contributions from Le Pen in 1992, as well as an early relationship with elements of the New Right, helped galvanize his career at the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, a party that Stephen Shenfield describes as “a nationalist and imperialist ideology of a composite liberal-fascist character.”
While Zhirinovsky, with his thick-rimmed glasses and burly figure, has become the perennial bully of Russian politics, the ideological slant of the modern radical right comes from Alexander Dugin, who the National Review called an “evil” ringleader of a “Satanist cult” last year (so much for conservatism). Craving a truly “fascist fascism,” Dugin became attached to Zhirinovsky early on through the powerful nationalist movement, Pamyat, which featured a swastika in the center of its official symbol. Dugin’s ideal of a pan-European “large space” (Grossraum) of Eurasia is modeled after the ideas of Rudolph Hess’s mentor, Karl Haushofer, and gained key early allies from the New Right.
The solidarity of Eurasianism calls for something completely new, beyond right and left, against all preconceived notions that divide, against communism, fascism, national socialism, racism, materialism. Instead, Dugin calls for a “Fourth Political Theory” beyond the Strasserist Third Position, calling for a reduction that includes freedom from the “first position” (Nazism and Fascism), social justice from the “second position” (European Social Movement), and “traditional identity” from the Third Position. With its roots in the three forms of 20th Century fascism, the “fourth position” Eurasianism and its friends in formal populist radical right parties provides a serious challenge to the supporters of the EU. That the discourse of the fourth position circumvents racism through the overwrought detour of torture provides testimony to the unpopularity of neo-fascism’s ontological positions, however. This is why Dugin insists that not a mass movement, but a “qualified minority” is required to develop the conservative revolution.
A member of the National Bolshevik movement, which ended its collaboration with Zhirinovsky after discovering his Jewish ancestry, Dugin’s influence is inescapable on the radical right today. The figure Dugin is most clearly connected with is a former expatriot and decadent named Limonov, who said of Zhirinovsky, “a Jew masquerading as a Russian nationalist is a sickness.” While Limonov may have worked with Zhirinovsky in 1992 to help him with European contacts, he took leave of his place at the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, and developed an independent pseudo-political career melding Stalinism and Hitlerism into a cult of the self. Formerly of the Studio 51 disco-punk scene of New York’s seedy underbelly, Limonov moved to France, where he grew to know the leader of Europe’s New Right movement, Alain de Benoist, and the Maoist-fascist Jean-François Thiriart. It was through this pedigree that he became the leader (though not undisputed) of the Europe’s National Bolshevik movement to overthrow parliamentary democracy and replace it with a fascist Internationale.
As a metric for the position of Rodina, which spearheads the movement to create a pan-Eurasian movement and the WNCM, the drunken bear of the Russian radical right, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, finds Rodina extreme. Its name meaning “Motherland,” Rodina stands tall among the Russian radical right. In 2005, while namby-pamby Putin was commemorating Auschwitz, Rodina joined Zyuganov’s Communist Party of the Russian Federation (the remnants of the old Communist Party of the Soviet Union) in calling for an outright ban of Jewish organizations. That same year, Zhirinovsky conducted a walkout of the Russian Duma, but words muttered underneath the breath of Rodina’s Andrei Saveliyev sparked an extended brawl that sent the two tumbling around in the isles. In the aftermath, Zhirinovsky got Rodina banned from a regional election for circulating an advertisement featuring a sidewalk littered with watermelon rinds and the comment: “Let’s clean up the trash from our city.”
The Brown List
The year after the rumble in the Duma, a coordinating organization of fascist parties and groups called the European National Front emerged, including many who now make WNCM their roost: Italy’s Forza Nuova, the National Democratic Party of Germany, Renouveau Français, and Golden Dawn. Among others, the European National Front was co-founded by Roberto Fiore, formerly of the Italian terrorist group Terza Posizione, who fled charges of participating in a bombing of a Bologna train station in Italy for the posh London digs of British New Rightist, Michael Walker. Although the European National Front dissolved in 2009, many of its old alliances and connections began to reconnect during the ouster of Yanukovich in Ukraine sponsored by pro-EU forces in the winter of 2013-2014, which included some well-known fascist groups like Svoboda and Right Sector. Responding to pro-EU fascism, National Bolshevik and Eurasian fascist groups like Hungary’s Jobbik, Italy’s Millennium, Poland’s Falanga and Ruch Narodowy, and the Franco-Serbian joint project, Unité Continentale, joined up with separatists in the east, and attempted to create ethno-separatist movements in the west. All four groups are currently featured along with the “not dead yet” British National Party on the WNCM’s roster.
Out of renewed organizing efforts against “global hegemony” after the Crimea Crisis came the Alliance of Peace and Freedom last year, cobbled together out of the old European National Front by Nick Griffin, and featuring the National Democratic Party of Germany, Golden Dawn, and Forza Nuova. In March of this year, on the anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, Rodina convened the International Russian Conservative Forum in St Petersburg. Originally boasting the participation of the entire Alliance of Peace and Freedom, along with the Austrian Freedom Party and the cultural wing of Italy’s Northern League, the International Russian Conservative Forum laid the seeds for the WNCM.
One only has to look at the list of groups in line with the World National-Conservative Movement (WNCM) to catch a glimpse of its geneology. The denomination of “revolutionary conservative” that it uses developed out of the New Right’s attempts to avoid the label of “fascist” by adopting as its intellectual figureheads people like Martin Heidegger, who extolled the “inner truth and greatness of national socialism,” Carl Schmitt, who formalized the juridical side of Grossraum, and Ernst Jünger, who sent Hitler an autographed copy of his essay “Fire and Blood,” and later served on the staff of the military occupation of Paris, overseeing the execution of deserters with “higher curiosity.” In a recent lecture during the conference, Grossraum: Russia and Europe: Dialogue of Resistance, Alexander Dugin lists off a number of fascists of the “old generation,” including Thiriart, and calls on his young audience to take up the banner of “new conservatives” comparing them to “the first Christian martyrs” as “fighters” against the “global hegemony” and the “money and so-called human rights” that “perverts nature.”
One of the top representatives of the New Right in the WNCM’s inaugural list is Tom Sunic from Croatia, who appeared in an interview with Alain de Benoist, himself, for the Holocaust-denying organ Institute for Historical Review. Also represented in the WNCM is the 1-2,000-member Romanian Noua Dreaptă, whose name literally means “New Right.” With a deep reverence for the old Iron Guard, Noua Dreaptă members famously attacked a Gay Pride march in 2006 and a Hungarian celebration in 2008.
Leftism and Rightism
Most of the members of the WNCM have welfare chauvinist views that can take on the semblance of leftist politics. The early warning sign for the creation of the Russia-oriented WNCM might have been in December, 2014, when Moscow hosted a conference including WNCM collaborators (League of the South and Rodina, for instance) called “Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and Building a Multi-Polar World.” While the Multi-Polar World conference attacked “predatory foreign policy of the US and its NATO allies” and included US leftists with the Workers World Party, it bent heavily toward Dugan’s brand of fascism. It would not be surprising to see future conferences and groupings in which certain leftist groups are integrated with or within the WNCM.
The creation of the WNCM indicates a growing international solidarity between revolutionary fascist groups from South Africa, Syria, Chile, and Japan, which share similar ideologies. If it may not be true that the organizations outside of Europe have less representation, in spite of the WNCM’sclaims that it is “formed on a voluntary and equal basis by representatives of various countries and peoples,” they remain largely white supremacist and white separatist. Many of the groups listed by the WNCM are also immediately dangerous to immigrants, people of color, and LGBTQA people.
The connections between Jobbik, Golden Dawn, and the British National Party to anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and racist violence are well known, and the WNCM’s list deepens the connection. Fiore notoriously organized Europe’s Hammerskins a few years prior to founding the European National Front in 2006. What is more troubling, Shekhovtsov points out, is that the WNCM’s program identifies “joint camps for military and athletic instruction” as part of the agreement. These “joint camps” are, most importantly, part of the Eurasian movement, which is represented by Unité Continentale, Belgium’s Euro-Russia, Ukraine’s Network Carpatho-Russian Movement, and Germany’s Die Russlanddeutschen Konservativen.
The association of the Finns Party, as well as the other populist groups, is also noteworthy. The second largest party in Finnish parliament, the Finns Party received nearly 18% of the vote in this year’s election. They are known for economic leftism mixed with nationalist policies that include the sterilization of African immigrants. Another WNCM member, Poland’s Kongres Nowej Prawicy, won four seats in last year’s disastrous European Parliament election. WNCM participant, the National Democratic Party of Germany, also won a seat in European Parliament, and its representative, Udo Voigt, is on the WNCM’s “esteemed” guest list.
A small joke lies at the bottom of the insistence on the “qualified minority”—particularly glancing over the US’s participants in the WNCM, which include the League of the South and the American Freedom Party. While these groups boast some impressive political ties to a host of more-prominent right-wing organizations like the white separatist Council of Conservative Citizens, as well as pan-separatist groups linked to the fourth position, they remain relatively miniscule compared to groups like Jobbick. Seeking representation for “European Americans,” the American Freedom Party emerged from the American Third Position, which in turn came from the Golden State Party, established by a fascist skinhead gang. Their auspices have not improved much. However, the name American Renaissance does provide a glimpse into an increasingly revolutionary tilt to conservatism in US politics, which could prove more auspicious for international fascism.
Revolution and Renaissance
Established and edited by the New Century Foundation’s Jared Taylor, who joins David Duke in the WNCM, American Renaissance magazine fills its pages with attacks against “welfare mothers” and articles on eugenics, while annual American Renaissance conferences play host to Nick Griffin and the Front National’s Bruno Gollnisch. However, Taylor’s fourth position philosophy enables the inclusion of Jews in his conferences, bringing an awkward air of confusion to other contributors like Stormfront’s Don Black and Jamie Kelso (formerly of the American Third Position). After an explosion of controversy following a 2006 disruption led by David Duke, in which he insisted that the New Right speaker Guillaume Faye “touched my genes,” exciting him to “rise and defend… and restore our heritage” against the internal subversion of “another non-European… Middle Eastern community… that dominates our media, influences our government, and has led us to this internal destruction of our will and our spirit.” Duke was interrupted by Jewish astrophysicist Michael Hart, who cried out, “You fucking Nazi, you’re a disgrace to this meeting!” Faye responded (Faye’s response beginning at 4:35), “you cannot directly speak about the Jews as the cause that arrived to us, but worse than the Jews are the … Jews in the mind[.]”
The American Renaissance was forced to sharpen its position around separatism. In a 2013 conference in Tennessee, Matthew Heimbach, a rising leader in the “white movement,” asked speaker Paul Ramsey “How do we create our ethno state?” The latter responded, “We need to Balkanize, and create our own homeland.”
That year was a difficult one for Mr. Heimbach. After appearing at an event put on by fascist skinhead gang, Aryan Terrorist Brigade, the National Socialist Movement, and the Imperial Klans of America, Heimbach found himself excommunicated from the League of the South, but they reinstated him soon after. The director of the Traditionalist Youth Network, Heimbach has since given tailgate speeches in defense of the Confederate flag, and after paying homage to the families of Dylann Roof’s victims, declared, “Dylann Roof is a victim in regards to he was a white man born to a society that actively hates him and hates his people, hates his culture and his identity.” Heimbach hopes to provide a framework “to make victories in the political sphere” by uniting fascist groups around the US.
Although Heimbach’s softer rhetoric has brought him beneficial media attention on Al Jazeera and Russia Today, his baseline politics are grounded in forced removal of people of color from a “white homeland,” along with the violent liquidation of sexual diversity. Heimbach’s “solidarity” for Palestinians is exposed also by his avowed support for the Assad regime in Syria, Golden Dawn, and Russian nationalists. Writing about the Russian International Conservative Forum that prefigured WNCM, Heimbach declared, “To break the chains of oppression that are keeping our people down, Europeans must rally together to create a Traditionalist International. Russia has the finances and the spiritual position to be a leader in uniting various nationalist and Traditionalist factions to work to destabilize and eventually destroy the agenda of the European Union, NATO and the United States. By pushing for a new global crusade against the enemy we are beginning a Holy war [sic] to save everything that we hold dear.”
While his anti-Americanism has rubbed some conservatives the wrong way, Heimbach’s “revolutionary traditionalism” falls into line with the European radical right, as well as the fascist vanguardists. The perspective of the fourth position is something that one might call über-fascism—it is, in a way, over the label of fascism, while retaining its characteristic “palingenetic ultranationalism,” and looking for appropriate political opportunity structures to disseminate its creed. The anger brought by the tenure of Obama has led to an increasingly revolutionary ideological position against NATO, while furthering important fascist entryism into the conservative movement. This revolutionary conservative movement finds its main mouthpiece in Donald Trump, who has proclaimed his intention to “get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”
It may be that Trump is already more like a US version of Zhirinovsky: a kind of popular burlesque sideshow with tremendous political power. Should Trump be elected to the office of president, however, there is a strong likelihood that the stature of the League of the South, American Renaissance, the American Freedom Party, and groups like it, would gain a great deal of power—much like Rodina in Russia. That scenario would prove deadly for the geopolitical composition of the world as we know it.
Alexander Reid Ross is a contributing moderator of the Earth First! Newswire. He is the editor of Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab (AK Press 2014) and a contributor to Life During Wartime (AK Press 2013). His most recent book Against the Fascist Creep is forthcoming through AK Press.
The Kiberkhunta hacker group has dumped 2,000 messages from Putin aide Vladislav Surkov's email, including two documents related to the Kremlin's plans to consolidate their annexation of Ukraine: "Priority Action Plan to Destabilize the Social-Political Situation in Ukraine," and "Concrete Action Plan on the Promotion of the Federal Status of Zakarpattia Oblast."
The first document set out a plan to support opposition parties in Ukraine, to spread "fake video and audio clips, and screenshots of correspondence between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his allies that details corruption at the highest levels of Ukrainian politics" and to "secretly use" anti-corruption campaigning parliamentary deputies Mustafa Nayyem, Sergei Leshchenko, Svetlana Zalishchuk, and Olga Chervokava.
The second document "details a plan to give Zakarpattia Oblast 'autonomous, federal status within the territory of Ukraine,' for which it proposes supporting local Ruthenian organizations."
--Leaked Kremlin memos reveal plan to destabilize Ukraine
mulebone » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:41 am wrote:Carol, a word of advice...step very lightly. These people are incredibly serious about removing anything that resembles normal human interaction from their forum. They prefer neat little labeled compartments for their blocks of text.
In my opinion, for all their humanist rhetoric, I think actual breathing smelly & irrational humans scare the living fuck out of the lot of them.
That's why they hide here.
Behind the skirts of their moderators.
On many levels it's pathetically sad.
On other levels it is fucking hilarious. Grown men yelling out for the moderator when they feel insulted or inserting explanations for their statements because they're terrified that they'll get exiled from this burial mound of dead paragraphs.
Geez, I'd die of shame. For what it's worth Carol, I've spent the last 16 years raising 4 kids so I think I've learned to recognize toddler behavior when I see it.
Oddly enough though, they're quite capricious about who they toss off. For example, they probably killed Hugh by revoking his soap box, but someone like me, who has been banned in the past & who has never given a shit one way or the other about it - I've never emailed any of them, I've never ingratiated myself to them, I've never promised to never ever do it again - I get reinstated. It really makes no sense.
I won't even bother getting into the mental health issues on display here or the legions of self professed feminist men who appear to have spent very little time with any living & breathing women, spouting rhetoric as inane as any misogynist. I suspect that most of these men are utterly inept at seduction, preferring the sneakier, more ingratiating "friend" entrance in to a woman's panties.
Make no mistake though, if you're on the right side of the RI divide, you can institute personal attacks as much as you want, but if you find, as I suspect you're finding, that you're on the wrong side of the divide, you'll be encouraged to "stick to the topic" & "refrain from personal attacks."
After that comes the ruler across the knuckles & a stern dressing down by dad.
Ho fucking hum.
O me o my, it appears I've strayed waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off topic. I'd better rectify that:
Kennedy was blah de blah de blah & someone shot him blah de blah de blah & they're probably all dead now blah de blah de blah & I can honestly say that I don't give a shit blah de blah de Kennedy de blah de Tippitt de blah de blah.....
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