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 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:46 pm

Syria Endgame: Crushing Daraa, the Russia-Israel deal & the Geopolitics of Counterrevolution

by Michael Karadjis

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As the forces of Bashar al-Assad, backed by the Russian air force, reconquered Daraa city, the birthplace of the Syrian revolution, an aid worker reported to Kareem Shaheen in The Guardian that “people have accepted the reality that the entire world is fighting against the revolution, and therefore it cannot continue.”

Shaheen is correct; the realisation however is late. The “the entire world” – all the major imperialist and regional reactionary powers – has been against the revolution since its outbreak in March 2011. Their differences have been entirely tactical.

The crushing of heroic Daraa involved an unwritten agreement between the Assad regime, Russia, the US and Israel. Four ‘heroes’ of today’s global ‘alt-right’ – Assad, Netanyahu, Trump and Putin – have emerged triumphant over the corpse of the Syrian revolution.

Much commentary proclaims that all global and regional powers are responsible for the catastrophe, backing “different sides” to pursue their “rival interests.” All these powers are indeed responsible, but the direct and massive Russian and Iranian intervention on the side of the regime contrasts sharply with the indirect role of the United States, the pretence of friendship to the anti-Assad opposition by neighbouring Arab regimes, and the cynical connivance of Israel, in bringing about the same goal. “Rivalry” and “different sides” had remarkably little to do with it.

The end game shows that inter-imperialist cooperation, rather than the much heralded “inter-imperialist rivalry,” was the major dimension of the foreign intervention in Syria. While it is understandable for beleaguered and outgunned revolutionary forces to take advantage of whatever tactical differences existed among the global and regional powers, there was never any real doubt that they were all ultimately on the same side, that of counterrevolution.

Conventional “geopolitics” emphasises rivalry between imperialist and sub-imperialist powers as the driving force of world politics. This leads to the conclusion that the US was “weak” or “hesitant” for allegedly “giving in” to Russia or “letting Assad off lightly” over his genocide. Repeated ad-nauseum for seven years, this entirely misses the point.

Inter-imperialist rivalry is a major factor in world politics, but confronted with revolution – like the region-wide Arab Spring – states that otherwise hate each other quite easily join forces against their common enemy – the revolutionary populace.


Continues: https://mkaradjis.wordpress.com/2018/08 ... evolution/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:28 am

That Thing They Have

Tuesday’s big-ticket convictions and Trump’s Mafia code

Russia, of course, has everything to do with both Cohen’s and Manafort’s current plight, for the riches of the former Soviet Union were the lodestar they followed that led them into Trump’s inner circle. According to former federal investigators, Cohen’s connection to Trump came through the intercession of his Ukrainian-born father-in-law, Fima Shusterman. It was well known among members of “Red Star,” an informal group of federal and local law enforcement agents investigating the Russian Mafia in New York in the 1990s, that Shusterman was funneling money into Trump ventures. Cohen was introduced to Trump as a thank you of sorts, and one reason why Cohen has not yet decided to cooperate with prosecutors is because it could imperil his family.

Moments after Cohen violated Trump’s law of omertà, the Mafia code of silence, the jury’s verdict in the trial of Paul Manafort was read out in Alexandria, Virginia. Trump’s former campaign chairman was found guilty in a case that showcased the riches he hid in overseas accounts to finance his lavish lifestyle back home. Manafort’s entree into the world of $15,000 ostrich jackets came through Oleg Deripaska, a wealthy and powerful Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Deripaska would become Manafort’s patron, paying millions of dollars for consulting services as well as loaning him money and investing in his business deals, as well as introducing him to Ukrainian oligarchs. During the 2016 presidential election, while serving as Trump’s campaign chairman, he tried to offer Deripaska private briefings about the campaign. Often overlooked amid all the speculation over Robert Mueller’s Russia probe is the tantalizing hint last year that may or may not point to Deripaska: in an application to search Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia, FBI agents said they were seeking records relating to contributions by an unnamed foreign national into a U.S. election.

What we are witnessing is a classic FBI investigation that is slowly, steadily dismantling a criminal organization.


It’s no coincidence that both Manafort and Cohen have ties to Russia; with Trump, it always comes back to Russia. Trump has been chasing Russian criminal money for decades. In 1984, a Russian criminal named David Bogatin purchased five apartments in Trump Towers as an investment, only to have them seized three years later by the government, who accused Bogatin of buying them “to launder money, to shelter and hide assets.” His casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey became a favorite destination for Russian Mafia figures on the East Coast; they regularly laundered cash in Trump’s Taj Mahal. And after Trump’s casino empire collapsed in bankruptcy, Russian criminals helped power his comeback by investing in towers bearing his name in New York, Florida, and around the world. When Russians came knocking on the door of the Trump campaign in 2016, the door opened. These were familiar faces to the Trump Organization.


https://thebaffler.com/latest/that-thin ... ve-hettena
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:02 pm

White Helmets, black blocs, red flags

One of our key challenges is combating what the French call "confusionism" and the Germans call the "querfront: the strange and unsavoury alliance between the far right and parts of the left. We can see elements of this convergence currently articulated around two key themes: the defense of national sovereignty against a supposed "globalist" elite and the rejection of key truths as a "mainstream narrative" that needs to be countered by amplifying alternative "truths".

While adherents of the querfront often do so in good faith, out of ideological conviction, its politics also serve the purpose of the Russian state in its hybrid war against Western power, and so the Russian state invests resources in amplifying confusionist voices and narratives.

Syria has been one litmus test of this confusionism, with the growth of a Russian-resourced disinformation and propaganda network tasked with winning the battle for global hearts and minds for the criminal Russian war in Syria. That network scored a major victory last week when Labour MP Chris Williamson endorsed one of the key nodes of the network, Vanessa Beeley.

In the New Statesman, Oz Katerji wrote this essential piece: Labour can be Jo Cox’s party or Chris Williamson’s – it cannot be both. If you only click on one of today's links, make it this one. Here's an extract:


Beeley’s conspiracism doesn’t stop with Syria; she has written crank conspiracies on the Charlie Hebdo massacre, which she described as “oxygen for this dying piece of shit Zio media”. A Swedish university also triggered a backlash and was forced to apologise after hosting a lecture by her that was widely condemned by visiting students.

In 2014 Beeley appeared on a panel in Paris alongside French “comedian” and convicted anti-Semite Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, notorious for creating the inverted Nazi salute “la quenelle”, and far-right former Belgian MP and convicted Holocaust-denier, Laurent Louis.

Beeley also has a history of anti-Semitic statements, including saying “Zionists rule France” and that French-American journalist Shawn Carrie was likely an “Ashkenazi Jew” and labelled him a “Zionist agent” after he published an article questioning the dubious funding behind the pro-Assad activism of Bartlett and Beeley and their associates. Speaking to the New Statesman, Carrie accused Beeley of anti-Semitic abuse, claiming her purpose was to “slander journalists and stir up hatred”.


More: http://brockley.blogspot.com/2018/08/wh ... flags.html
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:02 am

http://www.tango-noir.com/2017/12/19/moscows-mates/

Moscow’s Mates

Posted on 19th December 2017

To what extent do western far right parties and activists benefit from the support of the Russian state? Do they play a role in legitimising Putin’s democratic autocracy? Is this relationship one to be worried about? For anyone who has asked such questions in the past few years, Anton Shekhovtsov’s new book offers a comprehensive account of the origins, recent history and current dynamics of the “tango noir” between Moscow and western far right parties.

By Paul Jackson

Drawing on new archival material, and demonstrating a clear and authoritative grasp of the dynamics of Putin’s regime in particular, this book should be seen as a major contribution to the study of the transnational far right.

Shekhovtsov starts his account in the interwar years, with the rise of the Soviet Union. He shows how the dynamics between the new Communist state and western extreme right groups were sometimes more complex than might at first be imagined. The curious groups that saw in the USSR an ally of sorts included Germany’s National Bolshevists, driven by a vision of creating a new modernity, according to Shekhovtsov. Nationalist figures such as Ernst Jiinger offered praise for the “total mobilisation” achieved by the new Soviet state, reminiscent of total war conditions. Strasserite Nazis also saw the Soviet Union in more ambiguous terms than Hitler.

After the Second World War, the legacy of the National Bolshevists, along with left-loaning Strasserite Nazis and elements of the Conservative Revolution movement, led some far right figures to view the USSR as a potential bulwark against US global domination. Ideologues including Francis Parker Yockey and Jean Thiriart were central to these arguments, as far right ideologies were recalibrated to new Cold War contexts. However, while the USSR found some common ground with these positions, such as opposing West Germany joining NATO, it was not really until the period of Perestroika in the 1980s that ties between western far right parties and Soviet Russia became more significant.

Shekhovtsov explores in detail how, as the Soviet Union collapsed, opinion shapers such as Alexandr Dugin developed ties with the European New Right movement, led by Alain de Benoist. Shekhovtsov highlights Vladimir Zhirinovsky as another who was crucial to forging ties between the new Russian state of the 1990s and the wider far right milieu in Europe. Zhirinovsky was supportive of the Italian Northern League’s attempt to declare independence for Padania (northern Italy) in 1997. among other developments, and also supported Holocaust deniers such as Ernst Zündel. Jean-Marie Le Pen, then the leader of the Front National in France, was also part of this context, taking a positive view of developments in Yeltsin’s Russia in the 1990s. Again, he identified an anti-American quality to the new Russian state that could be beneficial for his own perspectives.

While around a third of the book deals with the longer historical context, Shekhovtsov’s main focus is on how Putin’s Russia has used and manipulated far right parties and figureheads in a variety of ways from 2000 onwards. He presents Putin’s regime as a new type of authoritarian state that uses elements of democratic practice to legitimise its endeavours and rightly resists the polemical trend to characterise Russia as a fascist state.

While Yeltsin’s Russia was dominated by oligarchs, Shekhovtsov shows that Putin’s Russia curtailed their influence while creating this new regime, authoritarian but not intent on pursuing a totalitarian revolutionary vision reminiscent of the Nazis.

For Europe’s far right, Russia’s increased hostility to organisations such as the EU has helped foster common ground. Shekhovtsov contends that European far right activists, especially in the past few years, have been keen to idealise an increasingly anti-Western Russia as a beacon of hope. To explore how these interactions have become closer as Russia has become more overtly anti-Western, Shekhovtsov devotes a chapter of the book to the issue of the Russian state giving far right figures specific roles as election observers. This has often been mutually beneficial, helping shore up Russia’s own pseudo-democratic practices while also allowing a greater international role for far right politicians. For British readers, it is interesting to sec the then British National Party leader Nick Griffin’s activities in 2011 and 2012 analysed in this context.

Revealingly, Shekhovtsov stresses that such extremists are presented as unremarkable, ideologically neutral figures in the Russian national media. In some cases, far right figures have also become more significant players within Russian media, becoming opinion formers. New forms of mass media in Russia have been crucial to this development. Putin’s state has sought to develop its television news channel, Russia Today – founded in 2005 and abbreviated simply to RT in 2009 – as a form of power both nationally and internationally. Shekhovtsov discusses some eyebrow-raising RT commentators with an international profile, such as Richard Spencer of the white supremacist National Policy Institute and FN leader Marine Le Pen. The latter, Shekhovtsov argues, was particularly forceful in supporting Russia’s antagonistic stance towards Ukraine from 2013. Such commentators, now ‘play an allotted role of white European experts’ on the alleged normalcy of the Kremlin’s policies at home and in international relations”, Shekhovtsov concludes.

There is also a chapter devoted to how Moscow uses far right organisations in Europe to develop front groups for its own aims and goals. Pro-Russian narratives are regularly promoted by far right groups, Shekhovtsov argues, focusing in particular on developments in Austria, Italy and France. Such promotion can include statements endorsing homophobic attitudes in Russia, criticising western sanctions against Russia, or legitimising Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

A final chapter develops similar themes of far right actors promoting Russian perspectives through the institutions of the EU.This has not always gone Moscow’s way though. MEPs from parties including the Freedom Party of Austria, Hungary’s Jobbik, Vlaams Belang in Belgium and Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom in the Netherlands have been supportive of Russian interests. But Shekhovtsov highlights others, such as the Sweden Democrats and the Danish People’s Party that have not.

The book’s conclusions draw out further interesting nuances. For example, Shekhovtsov explores how Russia’s support for Marine Le Pen was scaled back during the recent French elections, as Moscow began trying to cultivate the centre right Francois Fillon from the end of 2016. When his campaign failed, Moscow’s support for Le Pen returned. The book’s conclusions also rightly highlight the need for more academic research into the dynamics of wider Russian influence on different forms of western far right activity, spanning Russian neo-Nazis helping to run training camps in rural Wales to the nebulous alt-right scene in the US.

But while it presents this analysis on a large canvas, for readers interested in British-Russian dynamics the book sometimes feels limited. Nigel Farage gets only one mention, for example. What has been UKIP’s relationship with Putin’s Russia? Donald ‘frump is also only briefly mentioned. However, such gaps really point to the need for greater scrutiny of the networks of influence that Putin’s regime is cultivating and how impactful they really are.

For those who want to know’ more about these webs of influence, Russia and the Western Far Right is essential reading. It is an important addition to the scholarship on the subject and highly relevant tor anyone interested in the transnational nature of extreme right politics. It raises many questions for the coming years.



First published in Searchlight (Summer 2017), pp. 28-29.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:34 am

The Night Wolves: Russian Motorcycle Club or Kremlin Militia?

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Members of the Night Wolves motorcycle club arrive to lay a wreath at the Soviet World War II memorial in Treptow park to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the victory of the Soviet Red Army over Nazi Germany on May 9, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Military.com 4 Sep 2018 By Joseph V. Micallef

Joseph V. Micallef is a best-selling military history and world affairs author, and keynote speaker. Follow him on Twitter @JosephVMicallef.

The Night Wolves, Nochnye Volki in Russian, are a Russian motorcycle club that over the last two decades has morphed into a pan-European corporation and a mini-conglomerate of about 60 different businesses. Their activities include consumer organizations, entertainment, security services and a variety of manufacturing businesses ranging from motorcycle accessories to clothing.

They have also been implicated in several Kremlin-sponsored covert operations in eastern Ukraine and in the Russian takeover of Crimea. And they were suspected of being involved in the assassination of Milo Djukanovic, the president of Montenegro. The assassination is now seen as an attempt to derail the country's entry into NATO.

Nicknamed Putin's Angels, they are widely seen as a sort of militia that operates in a variety of roles at the Kremlin's behest while, at the same time, affording the Russian government the luxury of denying any responsibility for their actions.

The group, many of its leaders and several of its affiliated companies, has been placed on sanctions lists by the U.S., Canada and several European countries.

The Night Wolves have openly boasted about their close ties to Vladimir Putin. He is an honorary member and has often gone on motorcycle rides with the group, although he rides a specially modified three-wheel Harley Davidson motorcycle, rather than the regular Harleys that the group favors.

They have received substantial funding from the Kremlin; with estimates ranging from tens of millions of rubles to several hundred million rubles. The group prides itself on its strident Russian nationalism, a curious mixture of Soviet and traditional Russian iconography.

They proudly declare themselves to be anti-feminist and anti-gay, reject what they see as the debilitating corruption of Western society, and emphasize their devotion to the Russian Orthodox Church.

They acknowledge Vladimir Putin as their hero, openly declaring that they are willing to die for him. They decorate their clubhouses, emblems and clothing with pictures of Joseph Stalin, depicting him as a Russian hero and role model for Russian youth.

in August 2018, the group opened a motorcycle clubhouse in Slovakia, prompting warnings from Andrej Kiska, the president of Slovakia, and from Slovakian intelligence agencies, especially after Radio Free Europe released drone footage showing that the clubhouse concealed a tank and an armored personnel carrier.

Who exactly are the Night Wolves? Where did they come from? Is this just a strident, nationalistic, Russian motorcycle club or a de facto Kremlin militia; another spear in Russia's arsenal of unconventional, "new generation warfare"? Finally, are they a threat to the political stability of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics, or just another example of the Kremlin's smoke-and-mirrors military capabilities?

The Origins of the Night Wolves

The Night Wolves began as a mix of Western rock music fans -- mostly metal heads -- and motorcycle enthusiasts in the early 1980s Moscow underground scene.

Starting in 1983, they began to organize what were then illegal rock concerts in Moscow. After the onset of Perestroika under Soviet President and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, the group became the USSR's first official motorcycle club in 1989.

The group was organized by Alexander Zaldostanov, a former dental surgeon who goes by the moniker "The Surgeon." Zaldostanov, a Ukrainian by birth, grew up in Sevastopol in Crimea. His mother was a Russian doctor and his father a Georgian.

Originally, the club was patterned after the American motorcycle club Hells Angels. The Night Wolves rode Harley Davidson motorcycles. They adopted the Hells Angels rule book and had it translated into Russian.

In August 1991, the Night Wolves helped man barricades around the Russian parliament when hard-line communists dispatched tanks to try to topple the Gorbachev government. Zaldostanov was later awarded a medal by Russian President Boris Yeltsin for his role in helping to thwart the August coup attempt.

Over the 1990s, the club expanded into a variety of related businesses, opening a rock club called The Sexton, modeled after a club with the same name in West Berlin where Zaldostanov had worked as a bouncer before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The group launched a "Wolf Wear" clothing line, as well as a tattoo parlor and bike shop. The Night Wolves also began to offer security for local Russian rock bands. Their activities quickly evolved into security services and protection for businesses trying to avoid shakedowns from local police and gangsters. Some have claimed the group became its own protection racket.

Starting in the early 2000s, however, Zaldostanov began to transform the group into a staunchly Russian nationalistic organization. In the process, the organization became increasingly anti-Western.

It also forged strong ties with the Russian Orthodox Church. About this time, the group began sponsoring motorcycle pilgrimages to Orthodox holy sites. They also began using the imagery of a 14th century Orthodox monk named Alexander Peresvet.

His death, in hand-to-hand fighting with the Mongols, was said to have inspired a small Russian force to defeat a much larger Mongol Army in the battle that followed. Peresvet is often described as a quintessential Russian nationalist whose martyrdom inspired Russians to throw off the Mongol yoke.

Often portrayed as a gallant warrior-monk astride a horse, he is revered in the Russian church as a saint. Significantly, the Kremlin chose to name its recently unveiled high-energy anti-missile laser cannon the Peresvet.

The Russian Orthodox Church has historically played a major role in fanning Russian nationalism. The current leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill (Vladimir M. Gundyaev), is a former intelligence officer with the Soviet KGB.

During this period, the motorcycle club also grew close to the Kremlin. In 2008, the group participated in a rally to commemorate the election of Dmitry Medvedev as Russia's president.

The next year, Zaldostanov met with then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a motorcycle rally in Sevastopol. Putin rode with the Night Wolves at rallies in Sevastopol in 2010 and Novorossiysk in 2011.

At Novorossiysk, Putin publicly thanked Zaldostanov for his "service to Russia." In 2013, he awarded him the Order of Honor medal for his efforts in "youth patriotic education" and for "honoring the memory of the fallen from the Great Patriotic War."

Zaldostanov's close ties to Putin and to the Kremlin were underscored when he was chosen to be a torch-bearer at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In an added gesture of official approval, the club's flag, which depicts a snarling, flaming wolf, was carried into space and was displayed in the Russian section of the International Space Station.

Since then, the motorcycle club has grown impressively. It now includes around 7,000 members spread across more than 50 chapters throughout Russia and Eastern Europe. In addition, the group has expanded into a number of additional businesses focusing on security services and paramilitary training. It has also organized patriotic rallies and entertainment, which are broadcast on Russian television.

The Night Wolves as Kremlin Agents

The current Russian doctrine of New Generation Warfare, also sometimes referenced as non-linear warfare, mandates the use of non-governmental organizations in a military or quasi-military support role under conditions that preserve the Kremlin's ability to deny that their actions are officially sanctioned.

The Night Wolves have certainly been used in that kind of capacity by the Russian government.

The group played a highly visible role during the Russian takeover of Crimea. As recently as a week before the arrival of Russian Special Operations Forces on February 27, the group was active in organizing and manning roadblocks and checkpoints, distributing propaganda, collecting intelligence and organizing protests and civilian self-defense units, as well as distributing arms and possibly coordinating these actions with the Russian military.

The group was also used to intimidate local Ukrainian government officials and capture and detain Ukrainian military officers. They also participated in a raid on a Ukrainian naval base in Sevastopol and the takeover of a natural gas distribution facility.

The Night Wolves were one of only two non-governmental organizations that carried automatic weapons and participated in joint operations with Russian Spetsnaz units in Crimea during March of 2014.

After the successful Russian takeover of Crimea, Zaldostanov and at least 10 other members of the Night Wolves were awarded the military campaign medal "For the Return of Crimea."

The group has continued its role in Crimea.

In June 2014, they were awarded a contract by the city of Bakhchysarai to provide "youth patriotic education" and "municipal security services." They are also working with local police in Sevastopol.

The group played a similar role in the pro-Russian enclaves of Luhansk and Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. Using their local chapters and their social media platforms as a front, they recruited fighters to serve in the pro-Russian militias. Up to 40 members of the Night Wolves have fought with pro-Russian Ukrainian militias, and several members have died in the fighting.

Members of The Night Wolves are now used by the Ministry of Internal affairs of the Luhansk People's Republic to provide police and security services including securing critical infrastructure.

The group has been heavily involved in organizing various patriotic festivals promoting Russian nationalism, especially the role played by the Soviet Union during World War II. Many of these patriotic events are conducted under the guise of "youth patriotic education" and feature blatantly anti-Western themes in which heroic Russian figures are pitted against corrupt, degenerate Western antagonists, typically thinly-veiled American symbols.

In one such youth patriotic education event, a character that looks startlingly like the Statue of Liberty attempts to kidnap the snow princess Snegurochka, a character in Russian children's fairy tales. The effort is thwarted by the Night Wolves. The entire production is set to stirring patriotic music, complete with fireworks, and has been broadcast on several occasions on Russian television.

The spectacle is faintly reminiscent of the Stalinist propaganda practice during World War II of televising films about the Russian hero Alexander Nevsky bravely opposing the incursions of the German Teutonic Knights. Only now, the role of the Teutonic Knights has been replaced by Lady Liberty.

A second entertainment extravaganza, also broadcast on Russian TV, was a spectacle staged in Sevastopol in August 2015. Titled "The Forge of Liberty," and held under the auspices of a motorcycle show, the event included thousands of actors and bikers reenacting the Russian takeover of Crimea and the intervention in eastern Ukraine.

The pro-Russian militias were depicted as freedom fighters, while the Ukrainian government was portrayed as a fascist junta secretly controlled by the U.S. and its European allies. The show's plot corroborated the Kremlin's own official version of the Maidan movement, in which Ukrainian fascists overthrew the legitimately elected government with secret Western backing and installed a dictatorship that planned to persecute ethnic Russians.

Starting in 2015, the Night Wolves began organizing annual "Victory Rides" to Berlin to commemorate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. Starting in Moscow, in late April, the ride follows the Soviet advance on Berlin through Poland and Germany.

Often wearing WWII-era Soviet military uniforms and shouting Soviet slogans from the war, such as "For the Motherland" and "For Stalin", the rally finishes at the Soviet War memorial in Berlin on May 9, the day that the city fell to the victorious Red Army. Poland and Ukraine have both banned entry to the Night Wolves.

To add insult to injury, the group held a candlelight ceremony to commemorate the murder of thousands of Polish military officers in the Katyn Forest, despite requests by relatives of those officers not to do so. The murders were ordered by the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, a man who the group openly venerates. Their new, recently unveiled, prototype motorcycle is called the Stalinets.

In 2015, the Night Wolves also spearheaded the creation of the Russian anti-Maidan movement. The intent of the anti-Maidan movement was to protect the Kremlin from a color revolution, like the ones that swept through Ukraine and other former Soviet Republics.

According to Zaldostanov, the purpose of the anti-Maidan movement is to oppose Maidan-style democratic revolutions and to show resistance "to the global satanism, the growing savagery of Western Europe, the rush to consumerism that denies all spirituality, the destruction of traditional values, all this homosexual talk, this American democracy."

The Night Wolves have been conspicuous in the Balkans, where they are perceived as the front line of Moscow's attempts to increase its influence in the region. In 2018, the Night Wolves held a 9-day tour of the Balkans, billed as a "pilgrimage" and the "Russian Balkan Tour."

The trip was intended to showcase the deep ties between Serbia and Russia, as well as an opportunity to show support for the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska. The would-be country, which covers about half of Bosnia-Herzegovina, wants to secede. The movement is headed by Millard Dodik, a hardcore Serb nationalist, who was recently placed on a U.S. sanctions list.

The U.S. and NATO oppose the secession of Srpska and consider it a threat to the ongoing stability of Bosnia, while Russia and Serbia support the separatists. Banja Luka, the prospective capital of Republika Srpska, has been described as the most pro-Russian city in the Balkans.

The most recent incident with the Night Wolves occurred in July 2018, when the club announced the establishment of a club in Dolna Krupa, just 43 miles from the Slovak capital of Bratislava, and near the junction of the borders of Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Austria.

The president of Slovakia, Andrej Kiska, declared that the motorcycle club "posed a national security risk," as did the spread of other, Russian sponsored, non-governmental organizations. At the same time, a group of more than 200 Slovak intellectuals published an open letter to the government urging it to eject the motorcycle club from the country.


Continues: https://www.military.com/daily-news/201 ... litia.html
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:51 am

Arman Sagynbayev: I Was Tortured by the FSB

“Two Wires Came Out of the Box”: Penza-Petersburg “Terrorism” Case Suspect Arman Sagybayev Says FSB Tortured Him with Electrical Shocks in Minivan
Mediazona
September 6, 2018


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Arman Sagybayev. Photo courtesy of Mr. Sagynbayev and Mediazona

Antifascist and anarchist Arman Sagynbayev, who was arrested and remanded in custody as part of the Penza-Petersburg “terrorism” case, had until recently admitted his guilt. On September 4, he withdrew his confession, explaining that initially he had been tortured into testifying against himself and other young men arrested in the case, and then had been afraid to go against case investigators. His defense counsel has sent a statement to the Russian Federal Investigative Committee. Mediazona has published Sagynbayev’s deposition to his lawyer, in which Sagynbayev recounts how FSB field agents tortured him after detaining him in Petersburg.

In November 2017, officers of the Russian FSB [Federal Security Service] used unlawful investigative methodw (torture) against me. The circumstances were as follows.

On 5 November 2017, at approximately six o’clock in the morning, the doorbell of an apartment at [omitted] in St. Petersburg, where I was located at the time, rang. I opened the door, since when I had asked who was there, I was told the neighborhood beat cop was at the door. As soon as I opened the door, at least four men burst into the apartment. They yelled that they were from the FSB. They pushed a weapon (pistol) into my face before making me face the wall and handcuffing me with my hands behind my back. The men searched the apartment.

When the search was over, I was taken to a burgundy colored minivan parked next to the house whose address I have given. I would be hard pressed to name the vehicle’s make and model. A cloth sack was put over my head when I was in the vehicle. One of the men hit me in the body and head, demanding I tell them where I actually lived in St. Petersburg.

I could see through the fabric of the sack over my head that the man beating me was thickset and had blue eyes. I also made out the tattoo on the backside of his left hand: “For the Airborne Forces.” Later, I heard the other FSB officers call him [omitted].

Unable to withstand the beating, I told them where I actually lived in St. Petersburg: [omitted]. I was taken to the address I gave them, and there the men conducted a search without producing a warrant and without having official witnesses present [as required by Russian law].

When the search was finished, I was again put in the minivan and the sack was put over my head. At some point, I realized we were leaving St. Petersburg, but I had no way of knowing where we were going. I had a sack over my head and was handcuffed during the entire trip.

As we drove, I noticed that the man with the Airborne Forces tattoo, who had assaulted me, pulled a brown box from under his seat. There were two switches of some kind on the sides of the box. I cannot say what they were for. It is possible they controlled the intensity of the electrical current. Two wires came out of the box, which were attached to my thumbs. I was told they would check whether they had a current or not. I then experienced agonizing pain. I realized they were shocking me with electric currents. Meanwhile, the men in the vehicle asked me different questions. For example, I was asked to identify people whom I did not know, and when I said I did not know them, I would be shocked with the electrical current.

The men also hit me hard over the head with an object that resembled a day planner. When they realized I could not identify the people they named, they asked me other questions, for example, how to manufacture explosive devices and what parts were used in those devices. When my answers did not satisfy the men, I was hit over head and shocked with electrical current until I told them what they wanted to hear. They also told me that if I were not cooperative, they could do anything whatsoever to me and my loved ones, and they would get away with it, because I was a terrorist. They told me they could rape (“gang-bang”) my girlfriend [omitted], cut off her hands and my hands, and burn us with a soldering iron.

The torture lasted for around four hours, but I cannot say for sure, since I had no way of keeping track of the time, and I was in a great deal of pain.

When I was delivered to Penza Regional Remand Prison No. 1, there were burns from the electrical shocks on my hands, but no one paid any mind to these injuries, and the doctors did not record them when I was given a medical exam. Since I have been in custody in Penza Regional Remand Prison No. 1, no more illegal actions—beatings, torture, etc.—have been taken against me.

Fearing for the lives of my close relatives, for the life of [omitted], and for my own life, due to my health, which has worsened due to a serious illness, and due to the torture I endured, I testified against [Dmitry] Pchelintsev and myself, saying we had organized the so-called Network, which was not really true.


More: https://therussianreader.com/2018/09/08 ... y-the-fsb/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:35 pm

https://oaklandsocialist.com/2018/09/12 ... lib-syria/

Coming Bloodbath in Idlib, Syria

BY OAKLANDSOCIALIST ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

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The Putin/Assad attack on the Syrian people.

Resting on the support of Rouhani and Putin, Bashar Assad is planning a bloodbath in the last remaining province not under his control – Idlib in northwest Syria. With the help of Putin, he has kettled the opposition forces into Idlib. They are using the excuse that the province is under the control of terrorists such as HTS. However, recent videos show protests against the war in several cities in Idlib, and in some cases these protests are actually being attacked by HTS. There are other reports of the population of several towns organizing and driving the fundamentalist forces out of town.

In the opening shot, the air forces of Assad and Putin have attacked hospitals. This is in preparation to a general attack on the population as a whole.

Meanwhile, the Iranian regime has called for a “purge” of the Syrian population. Iranian forces have already engaged in ethnic cleansing in parts of Syria, but if Idlib falls, they will do so to an even greater extent. Nor will a military victory of the counter revolution mean the end. As we reported elsewhere, Syrian general Jamil al-Hassan has said that imprisoning or executing 3 million Syrians would not be a problem.

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General Jamil al-Hassan
Incarcerating or murdering 3 million
Syrians not a problem for the Assad regime.


Meanwhile, the Western socialist left in general is as quiet as a church mouse. They are claiming that the whole counter-revolution (and that’s what it is) is really just opposition to a US inspired attempt at “regime change”. But if that were so, then how explain that US policy is to prevent anti-aircraft weapons from reaching any rebel forces?

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Jeremy Corbyn
He has inspired tens of thousands of workers and youth in Britain.
As such, he is probably the most prominent socialist in the “West”.
He should speak up about the war crimes in Syria.


Nor is this a little detail. If the socialist left were to organize mass protests throughout Europe and the US, it would have an impact as far as staying the hand of these mass murderers – Putin, Assad and Rouhani. Truly, the silence of the socialist left on what is becoming the greatest crime of this new century shows how far the socialist movement has degenerated. Is it really any less of a disaster than the domination of Stalinist ideas and methods in the 1930s?
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:50 am

Image

Indefensible: Idlib and the left

Sep 12th

This text was contributed to Freedom by Leila Al-Shami: British Syrian activist and writer, co-author (with Robin Yassin-Kassab) of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War. Leila’s blog on popular struggles, human rights and social justice from an anti-authoritarian perspective can be found here.

It is hard to understand how devastating bombing campaigns carried out by the Syrian state and Russia on densely populated residential areas, which have killed hundreds of thousands, can be ignored by anyone who claims to be ‘anti-war’. It seems Syrian lives are only meaningful if they’re destroyed by western bombs. Today’s ‘anti-imperialism’ is often used as a cover in support of totalitarian regimes, by people privileged enough to never have experienced what it’s like to live under them. Not content to ignore war crimes and other mass atrocities, attempts are also made to absolve the perpetrators from blame and deny that atrocities have occurred. Conspiracy theories, often originating in Russian state or far-right media, are circulated about chemical attack ‘false flags’ to white-wash regime crimes and justify the targeting of civilians and humanitarian workers. Syria has become a talking point to score political points without a second thought given to the real-life danger such false accusations place people in, or the deep pain and offence caused to the victims.

In her recent book, Indefensible: Democracy, Counter-Revolution and the Rhetoric of Anti-imperialism, Rohini Hensman asks; ‘How has the rhetoric of anti-imperialism come to be used in support of anti-democratic counterrevolutions around the world?’ She argues that there are three kinds of ‘pseudo-anti-imperialists’. The first are those who believe that “‘the West’ has to be the only oppressor in all situations”, a “Western-centrism which makes them oblivious to the fact that people in other parts of the world have agency too, and that they can exercise it both to oppress others and to fight against oppression”. The second category consists of “neo-Stalinists” who “will support any regime that is supported by Russia, no matter how right wing it may be”. The third “consists of tyrants and imperialists, perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggression, who, as soon as they face a hint of criticism from the West, immediately claim that they are being criticised because they are anti-imperialists.”

In support of her argument, Hensman gives a detailed overview of genuine anti-imperialism as opposed to ‘pseudo-anti-imperialism’ through case studies from Russia and Ukraine, Bosnia and Kosovo, Iran, Iraq and Syria. She shows how self-declared ‘leftists’ have repeatedly supported authoritarian regimes over people’s democratic struggles, spread anti-Muslim bigotry, built tactical alliances with fascists, spread conspiracy theories and Kremlin/state propaganda, and engaged in genocide/atrocity denial and victim blaming. Her book is a timely reminder that the narratives propagated around Syria, in which the far-left echoes the talking points of the far-right and places geo-politics over people’s struggles and lives, are emblematic of a much broader malaise.

As bombs rain down on Idlib, few Syrians expect to see mass protests around the world in support of their cause or in defence of their lives. Those who claim a politics of ‘internationalism’ have abandoned them and retreated into isolationism or, worse, into apologia for fascism. Without addressing these issues the prospect of building an international movement against authoritarianism, imperialism, war and capitalism seems unlikely. In the meantime, we can expect the horrors which led the world to declare ‘never again’ to happen again, and again and again.


More: https://freedomnews.org.uk/indefensible ... -the-left/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:45 pm

On the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism

by LOUIS PROYECT

Image

For those inclined to support Assad and Putin, the primary source of information is electronic media. Over the past seven years, Alternet, Consortium News, CommonDreams, WSWS.org, Global Research and a host of other magazines and blogs have reinforced opinions formed early on. Imperialism was up to its dirty tricks once again and leftists had to rally around “the axis of resistance”. Just as WMDs were the pretext for invading Iraq, so were “false flag” chemical attacks in Syria. Sniper attacks on Euromaidan protesters and the downing of a Dutch airline blamed on Yanukovych’s supporters were likewise debunked as “false flags”. Instead of examining class relations in Syria or Ukraine, the primary focus was placed on finding the Wikileaks document that could serve as a “smoking gun”.

In my view, the debate has suffered from an overreliance on electronic media that is neither fact-checked nor in conformity with scholarly norms. Being “scholarly” does not necessarily mean written by tenured professors. It means providing data to support your arguments. That’s what should be expected from anybody committed to a dispassionate examination of social and economic reality. With the advent of Twitter, the level of serious analysis decreased close to zero, especially when it was amplified a hundred-fold by Russian trolls.

In March 2019, Verso will be publishing Max Blumenthal’s “The Management of Savagery: How America’s National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS and Donald Trump”, a book that will clearly make the case for the pro-Assad, pro-Putin side in the debate. I plan to read it as soon as it comes out just as did with Stephen Gowans’s “Washington’s Long War on Syria”. When I was in the Trotskyist movement, a great deal of emphasis was placed on hearing both sides of a debate during preconvention discussion. In a way, it is the same imperative juries must obey when rendering a verdict. The prosecution and the defense must be heard without prejudice. Furthermore, the best cases for either side are likely to be found in old-fashioned books that are generally vetted by professional editors rather than off-the-cuff posts to social media. It might be laborious to read a 300-page book but you will surely be getting something of substance that can’t be found in a 300-character Tweet.

All this is just a way of urging CounterPunch readers to have a look at Rohini Hensman’s new book however they stand on the issues, just as they should read Blumenthal. We are in a very critical period in history when an informed community on the left will be called upon to play a decisive role in both domestic and international affairs. Long after the fighting in Syria and Ukraine has ended, we will still be facing new conflicts in which some fundamental questions should be resolved in advance, most of all what it means to be “anti-imperialist”.

...As was the case with her treatment of Ukraine, Hensman begins at the beginning rather than on the day that the left discovered Syria—sometime in March 2011 or so. That beginning is in 1951 when a democratic revolution led to the formation of Akram al-Hourani’s government. He was a leader of the Arab Socialist Party that favored land reform, religious tolerance and woman’s rights. Unfortunately, he was overthrown by the Baathist Party in 1963 led by Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad and another military officer named Salah Jadid. From the minute their coup succeeded, the country was transformed into a single-party state. Hafez al-Assad retained some of the pro-peasant policies of Hourani, created a considerable state sector that provided employment for millions, and provided fairly generous social programs for the population. All that came to an end toward the end of his rule as neoliberal policies were instituted to jump-start a sluggish economy. After his death, his son deepened these policies to the point of provoking a massive uprising.

Much of Hensman’s narrative is based on Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila al-Shami’s “Burning Country” that was written to make the case that there was a genuine revolution taking place in Syria despite the tendency for most on the left to write it off as a jihadist assault on religious pluralism and the generous welfare state comparable to Sweden.

For Syrians, the notion put forward by Stephen Gowans et al that Syria was some sort of socialist utopia rivaling if not besting Kurdish Rojava was a cruel joke. Hensman writes:

Finally, it is an irony that people who see themselves as socialists fail to note the class dimension of the uprising. Janine di Giovanni provides a vivid description of the Damascus elite who support Assad: “[In June 2012,] for several weeks running, I watched the fevered hedonism of the Thursday afternoon pool parties at the Dama Rose Hotel … By lunchtime, women were rushing to hairdressers; the roads leading out of the city … were clogged with luxury cars … Restaurants such as Narenj, which … served traditional Arabic food to the elite, were still packed.” (di Giovanni 2016, 8 ). By contrast, in 2007 a third of Syrians were living beneath the poverty line, with nearly another third only slightly above this level. Swiss-Syrian socialist activist and scholar Joseph Daher (2016) writes that “even the regime-controlled Syrian General Federation of Trade Unions deplored in 2009 that “the rich have become richer and the poor poorer … (and) low income earners who make up 80 percent of the Syrian population are looking for additional work to support themselves”. He continues, “We must not forget that the popular revolution in Syria began as a result of social economic injustices and widespread poverty, in addition to political issues.”


We are now in the final hours of the seven-year ordeal in which attempts to restore the democratic values of Hourani’s government have been crushed by overwhelming air power and massive intervention by Iran, Hezbollah and Afghan mercenaries. The looming victory against “imperialism” leaves the country in shambles with dismal economic prospects and inescapable environmental disaster.

With Idlib facing certain doom, it is disconcerting to hear some on the left repeating the same sorry rationales for supporting Assad we have heard for seven years. Using the medium ideally suited for this kind of message, Rania Khalek tweeted: “It really is stunning to watch the ‘war on terror’s’ biggest cheerleaders cry about the upcoming defeat of Al Qaeda in Idlib. The same ppl who usually see Al Qaeda behind every corner pretend they’re blind to its existence in the thosands [sic] in Idlib all bc they hate Iran more.”

It is really difficult to make sense out of this brief outburst except to note that she uses the word “Al Qaeda” as a kind of bell to get her fans to begin salivating like Pavlov’s dogs. For all of the hatred directed against neoconservatives by people such as Blumenthal, Khalek and Ben Norton, their discourse reminds me of what I used to hear from Christopher Hitchens in the early 2000s. To destroy the evil jihadists in Idlib might involve collateral damage but that is the cost of suppressing sharia law and terrorism just as it is in Gaza. Just ask Benjamin Netanyahu who is Vladimir Putin’s best friend.

A certain political myopia exists in such quarters. Despite their anti-fascist pretensions, they cannot fathom how Assad’s victory will strengthen reaction throughout the Middle East and Europe. In an interview on Portuguese television, General al-Sisi stated: “The priority is that we support the national armies to impose control over the territory, deal with the extremists, and impose the necessary stability in Libya, Syria and Iraq.” When the interviewer followed up with “When you refer to the National Army in Syria, do you mean the Syrian army?”, the General replied: “Yes.”

Libya is held up as a poster child for what would happen to Syria if the “terrorists” are not nipped in the bud. Naturally, General al-Sisi would be supportive of his fellow General Khalifa Haftar who is trying to restore law and order in Libya in the interests of the Libyan bourgeoisie looking for another strongman to replace Gaddafi. In February, Haftar visited Egypt to further “joint coordination between Egypt and the army leadership in the fight against terrorism”. It seems that Haftar is Russia’s man as well. Sputnik News, which is to Putin as Fox News is to Trump, was beside itself over growing ties between the Kremlin and Libya, at least the part that Haftar controlled. On repeated visits to Moscow, he asked Russia for military aid supplies in order to fight against the Islamists.


https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/14 ... perialism/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:25 pm

One Day in Hell

A survivor’s testimony from Assad’s infamous Douma market massacre of 2015

by Sameer Al-Doumy

Image

I started taking pictures. For a moment, I thought that seeing everything through my camera’s viewfinder might protect me from being traumatized—but in vain. I witnessed men mourning over the bodies of their sons, replaying the tape of their beautiful memories together. They talk to them, hoping to hear from them even just the sound of a single breath in return, they make an apology to them, blaming themselves for their death. “Oh my son, get up … I swear, I will never send you to work again … for God’s sake, get up.” Devastated women trying to calm down their children in front of the bodies of their fathers and relatives. People with a look of fear and expectation on their faces as they try to identify their missing relatives among the accumulated corpses of victims.

Everybody was devastated, collapsed, no one fully conscious of what is happening, no one can conceive of what guilt those innocent children were killed for. Everything was ambiguous, unclear, random as the randomness of killing, blood, and death in the middle of that hell.

The only thing that broke the uproar of those moments was the return once again of the death ghost. With each airstrike and seeing those terrifying scenes, the fear of that damned plane becomes bigger and bigger. Everyone was confused, there were no entrances to take shelter in. I sat down next to an ambulance, which, practically, is not useful at all.

It was just a fraction of a second before I heard the sound of explosions. I rushed into the ambulance with the rescue workers, and we went hastily towards the targeted place. The airstrike had been right next to us, it was less than one kilometer that had separated us from inevitable death. Although the distance was short, I felt like our journey in the ambulance extended for years. I was counting the seconds, calculating the breaths, listening carefully to the tumult around me, afraid of hearing the sound of that scary monster again, I was trying to prevent myself from imagining what could happen to us in case the warplane came back to implement a double airstrike at the same place.

We arrived in the place, the rescue teams started spreading out, I carried my camera amid the fright that did not leave me on that day even for a moment. The first picture that I took was of a member of the Civil Defense as he entered the area; immediately I entered after him.

Image


https://antidotezine.com/2018/09/11/one-day-in-hell/
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:48 pm

How much can geopolitics tell us about Syria? Michael Karadjis replies to a friend

From Syrian Revolution Commentary And Analysis By Michael Karadjis

Below is a reply I wrote to an old friend who asked some questions about Syria. He is far from being an Assadist, indeed he notes that Assad is a horrible dictator, and states that the Assad-Russia-Iran alliance should not be given any support at all. However, …
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:20 am

Almost as soon as allegations of a chemical attack in Douma were aired, a broad spectrum of rightwing commentators were claiming that it was a “false flag” – that is, an attack carried out by someone else as a provocation, in order to bring down international punishment on the Assad government.

The most reliable peddlers of conspiracy thinking led the way. Alex Jones shot out a live Twitter broadcast claiming that the “false flag chemical attack could start a wider war”. The hardcore Trump acolyte and anti-immigration zealot Ann Coulter called it a “faked attack”, and like many others, connected it to Trump’s recently expressed desire to leave Syria.

In the same vein, many pointed a finger at the alt-right’s perennial scapegoat: Jewish people. In a tweet, alt-right podcaster Mike Peinovich (AKA Mike Enoch) called it “(((neocon))) bullshit”, using the movement’s visual symbolism for Jewish people, adding that “I don’t buy it and neither should you.”

On his own podcast, prominent alt-right figure Richard Spencer also expressed scepticism about the attack, and interpreted the administration’s increasingly uncompromising stance towards Syria’s ally, Russia, as an indicator of Jewish influence.

Image
Russian military police forces are seen near the town of Douma, the site of the chemical attack, on 12 April.

“Let’s just let the cat out of the bag,” Spencer said, “there is a Jewish element (who thinks) Russia is fundamentally illegitimate.”

The false flag theories, the animus towards Israel and Jewish people as supposed orchestrators of the attack, and sympathy for Russia, were all visible wherever the far right gathers online. This not least on Gab, the alt-right’s favored social media platform, where users swapped antisemitic memes explaining the attacks as a conspiracy, intended to manipulate Trump into fighting Israel’s wars.

If this skepticism were confined to these fringes, it might not be worth too much of our attention. But it also received an airing in ostensibly more mainstream forums, especially Fox News.

On Thursday, the Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy, who repeated claims made by the Russian government that aid organization the White Helmets had staged the attack. (The same claims had been published the previous day on Richard Spencer’s website).

And in general, Fox News hosts pushed back on the president’s bellicose remarks, largely evincing an anti-war sentiment. New recruit Tomi Lahren Trump in her final thoughts segment to “remember that it’s America first”, and demanded that the US pull out of Syria entirely.

Early on Monday morning, Laura Ingraham wondered why Syria was a priority among other humanitarian disasters, and also asked, “where are we getting all the money?”

As for Tucker Carlson, he arguably cemented his position as the country’s most high-profile critic of America’s wars. On Monday night, on his primetime show, Carlson first ripped the “geniuses” accusing Assad of chemical weapons use, asking: “Do they really know that? Of course they don’t. They’re making it up.”

He further asked: “How would Assad benefit from using chlorine gas last weekend?”, arguing that as he is poised for victory, this would be self-defeating.

This emerging rightwing stance against war in Syria seems remarkable when set against recent history, but it makes more sense in the context of the right’s longer history.

Matthew Lyons, a longtime researcher and author on the far right, points out that there’s a “whole tradition in the US right of opposing military intervention overseas”.

Lyons says that this tradition, traceable to the America First Committee’s attempts to keep the US out of the second world war, receded in the cold war, only to be revived by so-called “paleoconservatives” like Pat Buchanan in the 1990s. (This week, Buchanan himself railed against Trump’s apparent capture by “the war party”).

“Alt-rightists such as Richard Spencer and rightwing conspiracists such as Alex Jones partly echo the paleoconservatives,” Lyons says.

He adds that when Trump launched strikes against Syria last year in response to another gas attack, “they saw that as a betrayal of Trump’s talk of ‘putting America first’, and a capitulation to the neoconservative establishment, so-called globalist elites, or just Jews”.

And while the far right has mixed feelings about Russia, Russia will take any help it can get. As George Washington University’s Marlene Laruelle , Russia is “a beneficiary of a confluence of narratives and visions” in the west, and acts “not as a societal transformer but as an echo chamber of European and American societies’ own doubts”.

In other words, while Putin may not be responsible for the right’s anti-war turn and the crisis of neoconservatism, to the extent that this reflects a broader shift in public opinion, he may benefit from it.

Why is the far right so against US intervention in Syria?, Jason Wilson, 13 Apr 2018
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:25 pm

Assad regime support for Euro-fascists

The Syrian Observer reports that Sheikh Ahmed Hassoun, the regime-domesticated Grand Mufti of Damascus, has been schmoozing with members of far-right political parties in Europe, and is even shown in a "commemorative" photo taken at one such meeting with leaders of the xenophobic Alternative for Sweden. Again, this is hardly surprising for anyone who has been paying attention.
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Re: The Far Right's Love of the Kremlin’s Policies

Postby American Dream » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:34 am

International Man of Monocracy

From Russia stuff to Somali scams, Paul Manafort skates from oligarchy to oligarchy

JUST WHEN WE’D ALL sort of put the Russia stuff behind us, the Russia stuff came back with a vengeance two weeks ago with President Trump’s bizarrely subservient press conference with Vladimir Putin. If nothing else, Trump’s “surrender summit” supplies the ideal occasion for the latest entry in our series of Trump rogue’s gallery profiles—the recently jailed Paul Manafort, who served, after all, as one of the key vectors of Russia stuff-ness into Trump world, circa 2016. And if Russiagate is less an act of Cold War revival theater than a symptom of interlocking oligarchies across post-Soviet kleptocracies and the supposedly liberal West, Manafort’s career is a great way to get the background on how that all went down. Because for decades, he’s seen despots’ need for friends in the United States as his personal ticket to a lifestyle that includes, just for example, nearly a million dollars spent on carpets. Let’s take a walk through his thoroughly scummy career!


More: https://thebaffler.com/trump-trading-ca ... fruhlinger










American Dream » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:23 am wrote: http://salvage.zone/online-exclusive/th ... of-mirror/


Thirteen Reflections of Golden Don in the Hall of Mirrors

by Jordy Cummings

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