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 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:06 pm

My understanding is that "Science of Identity" is pretty cultish, that it is deeply intertwined with Gabbard, her family and her electoral team. SOI is very much tied to ISKCON, which I also consider culty.

Modi is all caught up in mass murder but then again so is Assad, not to mention extreme torture and abuse of dissenters. So who's "better" amongst the competing bosses? That's hard to say and I can not cheerlead for Putin, Assad, Gaddaffi, or whatever other bloody dictator is deemed anti-imperialist mascot. I'm too libertarian (in the European sense) to soft pedal the crimes of strongmen.

I agree with you about the Kurds in Syria and If I can dig up further documentation on Chris Butler as cult leader, I will place it in the Tulsi Gabbard thread.

Joe Hillshoist » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:27 am wrote:
I agree on the cult thing to a point but I'm pretty sure Butler is a registered and officially acceptable (or whatever the process is to confer legitimacy) Hindu guru. My old man was a Hindu priest, not in India in Fiji, so it wasn't as strict in terms of all the hardcore politicisation of castes and such. its a fairly open religion and the version she identifies with is pretty clear in its aims and requirements. Its one of the more conservative schools of Hinduism tho.

I dunno about the change in her beliefs ... on one hand I wouldn't trust any politician on the other going to war (or any similar kind of life changing and challenging experince away from home) can change the way you see the world, especially if you've come from a small town kind of background and I imagine Hawaiiian politics is very much like that.

Modi is scum. Assad ... I dunno. Pretty scummy but in this particular circumstance not as scummy as some.

I know people who were in Syria 10 - 15 years ago and it was a reasonably modern society compared to what it is now. One of them mentioned that people were sad about the Iraq invasion and how bad it was gonna be for people in Iraq. Then again he is also a repressive middle eastern dictator.

Personally I'm a bit disgusted with the US stabbing the Kurdish people in Syria in the back (again for what the 30th time? as far as US betrayal of Kurdish people goes...) But I guess someone like Trump, or any US admin on either side of politics for that matter, was never gonna let their support for a socialist peoples movement last. But from what i understand the Kurds were less fucked up than every other party in that conflict.
Last edited by American Dream on Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:20 pm

On Gutter Journalism and Purported “Anti-Imperialism”

By: Gilbert Achcar October 10, 2019

ImageGutter journalism is unfortunately not the preserve of openly right-wing tabloids. There has existed since the advent of Stalinism a “left-wing” strand of public mudslinging: Zhdanov was the counterpart of Goebbels. The Stalinist slander apparatus originally targeted the USSR’s left-wing critics, who were labelled “Hitlerists” in the 1930s-40s and “CIA agents” thereafter. This tradition did not vanish, alas, with the demise of the Soviet Union, although it has much less impact nowadays than it used to have when the Stalinist state’s propaganda machine was behind it at full blast.

The propaganda machine of present-day Russia promotes a far wider range of  professional mudslingers and conspiracy theorists, in which the far right occupies central place. This is only normal since Putin’s Russia has infinitely more affinities with the far right than it has with the far left. And yet, Moscow does not shy away from using a few purported leftist propagandists as pawns in the inter-imperialist competition between it and the USA – or, more precisely, between it and the traditional mainstream US establishment, since the US far right, and Donald Trump himself, have shown their admiration for Putin on numerous occasions.

As a result, one finds a purportedly “left-wing” cohort of writers and publicists who systematically stand with Moscow and its dictatorial allies, such as the murderous Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, while describing themselves as “anti-imperialist” – as if “anti-imperialism” consisted in siding with imperialist Russia against the imperialist USA. Indeed, their purported “anti-imperialism” is predicated upon the designation of Washington alone as the imperialist enemy, along with a knee-jerk attitude conforming to the morally corrupt maxim: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Moscow and Damascus thus receive frequent visits by representatives of the global far right, including prominent figures such as the French Marine Le Pen or the Italian Matteo Salvini, along with occasional visits by people who describe themselves as left-wingers.

One example of pro-Putin, pro-Assad “left-wing” propaganda combined with gutter journalism is the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS), run by a “Trotskyist” cult led by a political sicko named David North, which perpetuates a long worn-out tradition of inter-Trotskyist sectarian quarrels in fulfilling its role as apologist for Putin, Assad, and their friends. Another example is Grayzone, a website founded by a particularly versatile character named Max Blumenthal.

These websites have in common the habit of demonizing all left-wing critics of Putin and the likes of Assad by describing them as “agents of imperialism” or some equivalent. The main “target market” assigned to them is naturally the left-wing readership. This implies that they must strive not only to convince their readers of the virtues of Moscow and its clients by a resort to fake “left-wing” and “anti-imperialist” arguments, but also and most importantly to discredit their left-wing critics. In doing so, they resort to the oldest trick of the slandering profession: outright lies.

As a Marxist critic of all imperialist powers and tyrannical regimes, and therefore a critic of Moscow as much as of Washington, and of Israel and the Saudi or Egyptian regimes as much as of the Syrian or Iranian ones, this writer has been a choice target for the pro-Putin/Assad professional slanderers. However, I have hardly ever replied to the tons of filth thrown at me over the years by all sorts of people belonging to that galaxy, especially the lunatic WSWS for whom slandering me seems to be a priority, judging from the incredible number of articles in which they hurl insults at me. These people are not worth a response; short of time and resources, I count on readers’ intelligence and ability to identify such a website for what it is: a contemptible sectarian enterprise.


Continueshttps://newpol.org/on-gutter-journalism-and-purported-anti-imperialism/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby MacCruiskeen » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:38 am

You are a spook.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:41 am

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

Postby MacCruiskeen » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:49 am

You are a toady.
"Ich kann gar nicht so viel fressen, wie ich kotzen möchte." (Max Liebermann, Berlin, 1933)

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

Postby Harvey » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:16 pm



If nothing else he's one of billions of reasons we are in the world we inhabit. He's doing his little bit to keep it this way or perhaps make it substantially worse than he found it.
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"


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

Postby Jerky » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:31 pm

SLaD, a toady?! YOU accusing SLaD of being... a toady?!

That's the pot calling the snowball black, I must say.

MacCruiskeen » 26 Oct 2019 14:49 wrote:You are a toady.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby RocketMan » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:29 am

I thought Tulsi Gabbard had cornered the market on (Assad) "toady". :mrgreen:
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-That's just a word, Marlowe. We have that kind of world. Two wars gave it to us and we are going to keep it.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:32 am

IMPORTANT - The first trial worldwide about state torture in Syria is expected to start in Germany in early 2020.

This is a giant leap forward in the fight against impunity.



Image

Germany has charged two alleged former Syrian secret service officers with crimes against humanity, federal prosecutors have announced, a key step in a patchwork of international efforts to seek justice for atrocities committed during the country’s long civil war.

Anwar Raslan and Eyad al-Gharib were arrested in February, in a coordinated operation by German and French police.

Raslan allegedly led an investigative unit with its own prison, known as Branch 251, near the Syrian capital, Damascus. Prosecutors claimed at least 4,000 people were tortured by his subordinates during interrogation there between April 2011 and 2012, with guards using bars, cables and whips to beat prisoners during interviews.

Some prisoners were subjected to electric shocks, while others were “hung from the ceiling by their wrists, with only their toes touching the ground”, according to a statement by the German prosecutor.

Many died as a result, and Raslan has been has been charged with 59 counts of murder, as well as rape and aggravated sexual assault.

“As head of the investigation unit, the accused Anwar R determined and oversaw the prison’s operational procedures, including the systematic and brutal use of torture,” prosecutors said in a statement. “He was aware of the fact that prisoners were dying as a result of the massive application of violent force.”


https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/oc ... -humanity/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:34 am

Trolls Built A Trap Out Of Tulsi Gabbard’s Campaign — And Hillary Clinton Fell For It


During the 2016 US presidential election, international troll armies, misogynist incels, neofascists, and white nationalists all learned how to do the same thing — infiltrate poorly moderated social networks to seed propaganda. This toxic mishmash has deployed this same strategy to disrupt the 2020 election: Pick a Democratic candidate, infiltrate the candidate’s online fanbase, radicalize their supporters, use social media to recontextualize the campaign, and hope the media or other candidates (or Hillary Clinton) take the bait.

Image
4chan

Several Democratic candidates have been targeted by these appropriation psyops so far — most notably entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who, after flirting with the fringe via the Yang Gang, spent the summer disentangling himself from Trump trolls, men’s rights activists, and gamers. Author Marianne Williamson’s campaign has similarly courted a strange online fanbase, made up of anti-vaxxers and other New Age identity movements — although her Orb Gang has avoided blatant hijacking so far, most likely because she’s been so vocal about her opposition to Trump.

Gabbard, though, is the perfect candidate for political bad actors to weaponize. She has spent most of her political career defending policies that line up with the interests of extremist groups and dictators.

Her unusual political background is perfect for extremists looking to paint her as a covert Republican — or worse. Gabbard’s father, Democratic state Sen. Mike Gabbard, was an anti-gay crusader in the ’90s; in the early 2000s, Tulsi Gabbard worked for an anti-LGBTQ group that backed conversion therapy. Gabbard and her family have connections to a Hare Krishna offshoot called the Science of Identity Foundation, which critics have accused of being a cult. In her first two terms in office, Gabbard met multiple times with the right-wing Hindu nationalist volunteer organization, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), with whom many of her US donors are affiliated. The international branch of the RSS organized the “Howdy, Modi" event between Trump and the right-wing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston last month. She visited India in 2014 after a personal invitation from Modi.

Gabbard caught the attention of the American far right in February 2016 when she resigned as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. In June and July that year, WikiLeaks published emails between Gabbard and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then the chair of the DNC, clashing over what Gabbard perceived as Wasserman Schultz’s favoritism of Clinton over Sanders — a leak that Gabbard would later defend. In February this year, Gabbard praised WikiLeaks publishing the 2016 DNC emails (an endorsement that the site proudly publicized), saying, “the information that has been put out has exposed a lot of things that have been happening that the American people were not aware of and have spurred some necessary change there."

In November 2016, according to a senior official on the transition team talking to ABC News, Trump seriously considered Gabbard for a cabinet position. Not only did Gabbard meet with the president that month, but the meeting was organized by Trump’s then–chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Bannon reportedly thought Gabbard’s foreign policy views, in particular, would make her a perfect fit inside Trump’s administration. Gabbard did not end up in Trump’s cabinet, but the possibility was enough to grow a following inside the MAGAsphere.

“LITERALLY OUR GIRL,” one 4chan user wrote of Gabbard at the time. “THE BREAKS ON THE KEK TRAIN ARE BROKE"

“I've always like her and respected her,” a redditor in the pro-Trump subreddit r/The_Donald wrote the same day. “Now I do even more. She is awesome, and much more deserving on the title First Woman President than Hillary is.”

It wasn’t just radicalized message boards buzzing about Gabbard — the Hill published a piece titled “Tulsi Gabbard Is the Pick for Secretary of State, Not Mitt Romney,” which was shared thousands of times on Facebook.

Gabbard has continually connected with dictators aligned with both Russian interests and Republican foreign policy. In 2015, Gabbard traveled to Cairo with then–Republican California representative Dana Rohrabacher, known in Washington as “Russia's favorite congressman,” whom the Kremlin liked enough to give a code name. While in Cairo, Gabbard met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and praised him for his “great courage" in the fight against “extreme Islamist ideology.” In January 2017, Gabbard traveled to Syria to meet with Assad for a “fact-finding” mission and, at the time, referred to Syrian rebels, then backed by the US government, as “terrorists.” She refused to condemn Assad and was publicly skeptical over whether his regime carried out chemical attacks in April 2017 against the town of Khan Shaykhun.

Image
Daily Stormer

Gabbard’s visits to Assad occurred at the same time the American far right embraced the dictator's regime, driven by a combination of pro-Assad propaganda infiltrating radicalized platforms like 4chan, Russian misinformation about Syria flooding Twitter, and Assad’s strongman persona reminding some of Trump. Memes of Assad as Pepe the frog flooded Twitter and Reddit. Radicalized Facebook pages started sharing jokes about Assad’s use of barrel bombs.

Gabbard’s comments on Syria didn’t go unnoticed. Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin wrote glowingly about her on the Daily Stormer in April 2017. “She’s basically the only person in our government right now who is actually saying the truth about the situation in Syria, so I support her,” Anglin wrote. The same month, alt-right founder Richard Spencer tweeted, “Tulsi Gabbard 2020 #Trumped.” In February this year, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke endorsed Gabbard for president — a vote of confidence she rejected: “I have strongly denounced David Duke’s hateful views and his so-called ‘support’ multiple times in the past, and reject his support,” she said in a statement.

In January, as Gabbard was about to announce her presidential run, Russian state media started amplifying her campaign. Russian state broadcaster Russia Today swarmed her candidacy, chronicling what the outlet described as “panic" among Republicans and Democrats over Gabbard entering the race and categorizing claims that she was a Hindu nationalist as a religious slur. On Twitter, the Russian Embassy in South Africa attacked the investigative journalism website Bellingcat over its report on Gabbard’s skepticism about the use of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

At the same time, multiple 4chan threads began debating exactly what they should do about her campaign, according to an incomplete archive of 4chan threads.

“There are essentially two schools of thought here: Support the most inept person possible from the DNC, as a guarantee that Trump will win. Support the most /pol/-ish person possible from the DNC, as a fail-safe in case Trump loses,” one user wrote. “Again, nobody is suggesting that we support her over Trump in the general. But there is definitely massive meme potential when it comes to making her the nominee.”

By the time Gabbard started appearing in debates, 4chan users were calling her “mommy” and trying to hack polls in her favor. Far-right influencers like Jack Posobiec and Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson have both tried to hijack Gabbard’s campaign to inject radicalized messages into it. Pro-Trump media personality Mike Cernovich is especially enamored with Gabbard, spreading a conspiracy that foreign agents from Qatar have bought influence inside the media to smear her. Right-wing YouTuber Steven Crowder, just this week, began spreading a conspiracy theory that YouTube is blocking Gabbard-related content from the platform to support Clinton.

As a consequence of the far-right smoke machine, the accusations that Gabbard is running as a secret pro-Trump candidate or as a “Russian asset” have persisted. In August, the hashtag #KamalaHarrisDestroyed — referencing a clash between Gabbard and Democratic candidate Sen. Kamala Harris — went viral on Twitter. At the same time, Gabbard became the most-searched candidate on Google, which raised concerns that coordinated bot activity was promoting Gabbard. Still, there is no concrete evidence that Russia is actively exploiting the campaign, aside from Russian state media coverage.

Gabbard has spent the days since Clinton’s accusation defending herself in fiery tweets and media appearances, drawing support from other candidates in the process. “People can disagree on issues, but it is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Tulsi is a foreign asset,” Bernie Sanders tweeted Monday.

Image

It’s not outrageous to suggest that Gabbard has benefitted from foreign assistance, but accusations of a compromised candidate delegitimize the democratic system just as effectively as actual Russia interference. It’s one of the oldest trolls there is, dating back to the founding of the United States.

But today, the scale is much different than when opponents of President Thomas Jefferson accused him of being in cahoots with France. In 2014, as 4chan was radicalizing into a white nationalist message board, its users undertook one of its first large-scale harassment campaigns. Men's rights activists, incels, and pickup artists created Twitter accounts to pose as women of color. The fake accounts began promoting the hashtag #EndFathersDay. The campaign drew the attention of the wider community, who either fell for it or pilloried it. Conservative media picked up the trend, using it to paint the social justice community as ridiculous. Activists then outed the hashtag as fake. The point was to destabilize liberal activists, undermining trust that activists had in their own movement.

According to the Mueller report, Russian trolls carried out the same strategy in 2015. They posed as black activists and generated hundreds of thousands of interactions for content that included calling Hillary Clinton a “monster,” supporting Bernie Sanders, and decrying racial injustice and police violence in the US. They focused a large number of their resources on creating black social justice Facebook groups like "Black Matters," "Blacktivist," and "Don't Shoot Us." They purchased ads for the account Black Matters to organize anti-Clinton flash mobs. The infiltration is merely a setup; the eventual unmasking is the punchline.

For the online coalition of extremists and foreign bad actors hoping to disrupt the 2020 election, there may not have been a better outcome than Clinton accusing Russia of grooming Gabbard. The former first lady has been its main target since 2015: White nationalists, Trump trolls, Assadists, and the Kremlin’s propaganda apparatus all profess to believe that Clinton has turned the DNC into a corrupt deep state. And Gabbard is the 2020 presidential candidate in whom they’ve invested the most.


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