Active Measures — The collection of Russian Agitation, Disinformation, and Propaganda Methods made evident through covert or subtle Influence Campaigns applied to wrecking the political coherence and cohesion of EU/NATO for the purpose of reestablishing Political Absolutism in the same and then using the most thuggish of feudal and medieval methods to leverage loyalty and wealth from them for contribution to the Greater Imperial Glory of Moscow, the Russian “mafia state” it has come to represent, and the immense enrichment of its oligarchy.
Indeed the west, the melange of classically liberal democratic open societies built and structured around fair dealing, freedom, and integrity and related humanist and liberal ethics, principles, and values has been unprepared for covert agent provocateur, e.g., covert agitators Far Right and Far Left, disingenuous publications, false front organizations, trolls, etc.
I’ve chosen to demur from producing “long copy” and a lengthy reference section for this post. Awareness of “Active Measures” — the kernel of Russia’s covert campaign to degrade and ruin the democracies of the west — should suffice for both the interested and the unwittingly vulnerable.
Through the Cold War Era and now with Putin leading the Russian Federation, the purpose of Soviet / post-Soviet “Active Measures” has been to fragment EU/NATO for the purpose of Russian expansion and its feudal practices. A video like this one — the same as above on this page — will help a little bit with understanding the greater east-west politics and the tension between the worlds of “Absolute Power” and the open democracies of the west.
Active Measures” represents an international (RF v EU/NATO) dispute over the future, not only an American one.
If we are at one the other’s throat, Moscow will have succeeded in exploiting our natural political arguments and issues by heightening them and undermining our national political cohesion and coherence, thereby weakening our state and degrading our democracy.
Regarding “Far Out Left” and equally distant Far Right tendencies, the related foreign and disingenuous domestic manipulations of political perception targets us all.
Listen to the high notes: Arms Deals, Trade Deals, Expanding Markets.
Mentioned: Turkey’s participation in the building of the F-35 air frame. While that mention may score points with the less informed public, Turkey’s participation in NATO defense manufacturing in relation to the American fighter jet program has created heat and a now discomfiting defense relationship. The following description of the depth of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 Program tells why:
Eight Turkish companies make parts for the fuselage, landing gear and cockpit displays of the aircraft, according to Lockheed Martin. Some of them have been producing F-35 parts since 2004. For example, Fokker Elmo manufactures 40 percent of the F-35’s electrical wiring and interconnection system.
These companies are set to do $12 billion in work on the F-35 program over the life of the jet, according to USNI News.
The move — which in early 2020 would end contracts with major Turkish defense contractors such as Turkish Aerospace Industries, Roketsan and Tusas Engine Industries, among many others — is just one of many steps the U.S. Defense Department intends to take to strip Turkey from the F-35 program, according to a June 6 letter from acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
On the F-35 matter, the White House noted in July, ” Unfortunately, Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible. The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities.”
Freedom House metrics involving civil liberties and political rights rates Erdogan’s Turkey as “Not Free”. On the matter of Freedom of Speech, a matter that President Trump has baldly attacked with the accusation “Fake News!” aimed at America’s responsible mainstream media, Erdogan’s state has made itself notorious for the inhibition and jailing of Turkey’s journalists. Wikipedia’s “Censorship in Turkey” tells that story.
Erdogan has a card to play against Europe, as he confirmed in a speech on October 10. That card is a refugee card, the threat of a flood. There are 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. “Come to your senses,” he told the EU in that speech, given to his party in Ankara. “I will say this once again: If you try to label our current operation an occupation, our job becomes easier: We will open the gates and send the 3.6 million refugees to you.”
Despite this threat, several EU nations have responded to Operation Peace Spring, imposing arms embargoes on Turkey. These nations include Germany, France, Sweden, and Finland.
BackChannels has long maintained a quick reference list for copy-paste relay of Moscow’s post-Soviet play in the narrative around Islamic Terrorism. It begins with David Satter’s account of the “Moscow Apartment Bombings”, back-fills with Anna Politkovskaya’s observations on the Russian Army’s brutalizing of Chechen villages, moves through Ayman al-Zawahiri’s whistle-stop in Russia (published in Business Insider), and ends near the U.S. military observation of Russia’s supplying the Taliban (today) with arms and materiel. Here it is*:
Moscow’s persistent Orwellian (and paternally authoritarian) character may come through as it dawns on the reader that the state appears to manipulate its public with something like “KGB Theater” (again, read David Satter on the “Moscow Apartment Bombings”).
The production of “The Syrian Tragedy” well displays the form as Bashar “The Butcher” Assad chose to barrel bomb Syrian noncombatants while al-Qaeda types gathered in his space and eventually distilled into “ISIL” or, today “Islamic State” — see https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/12/09/syria-assad-isil-background/ for related argument and the basis for it in references.
Basically, BackChannels believes Assad — as flanked by Putin and Khamanei — chose his enemy, i.e., an “enemy preferred” or a dumb foil he knew he would beat (with Russian assistance), and which victory would redound to his glorious (malign and narcissistic) appearance.
By choosing amity with President Erdogan, President Trump has stepped into the Great Neo-KGB Theater of History, but with one immense issue: a spirited American public and system in part armored against the dawning of totalitarian control and related debasements and indignities. In lieu of the Soviet Communist project that gave up the ghost on December 25, 1991, the (E)State Capitalism — the making and hoarding of money by any means no matter what the costs to humanity — associated with Vladimir Putin appears to be working — and Americans (and the North American and European presses) seem slow to catch on.
*Mixed formatting has to do with the editor’s interest, purpose, and time–for the blog: okey dokey; for a monograph some time in the future, Chicago rules.
As BackChannels may use the term “Covering / Splitting”, the reference is to masking over the defective, humiliated, or impotent self — it’s not uncommon for children to suffer — and suffer deeply — at the hands of a powerful and sadistic other in such a way as to demand a coping and defensive route in behavior in response. The “splitting” then may refer to the development of the heroic or heroic-appearing self and the daring exploration and development of congruent behaviors. Not all who would experience “narcissistic mortification” become malign in their response — some may be reparative in response — but some do wish to get the better of their tormentor in one-up mirror fashion.
“Narcissistic Manipulation” –> “Gaslighting” and “Perceptual Control” — in the linguistic or Orwellian sense, control of the target’s information, imagination, organizing (Gestalt functions) and perception plus predictions or prognostics.
Had history not had “grandiose and messianic” personalities, there would perhaps be very little of human history at all.
Be that as it may, many ages — feudal, medieval, Renaissance, Elizabethan, lol (whatever works) — have passed into a modernity in which knowledge and reason prevail in the fashioning and support of modern democratic, humanist, and secular law and policy. Reflecting that sea change in humanity, Europe has come up with a dozen “constitutional monarchies” bound up in a reasonably coordinated, cooperative, and peaceful “European Union” that should be, so BC opines, quite sensitive about states marching themselves backward into the bloody illusions of the past.
Putin’s way has brought out the dictator in some EU / NATO politicians (Erdogan, Orban, Le Pen, Trump), not all completely successful in their quest to be as if feudal lords in command of their tribes x (criminality), language, race, religion, perhaps wealth, but in someways successful enough. Ironically, and while working opposite the direction of the Russian collusion “witch hunt”, the Trump Administration has taken many measures along the crime- and dictatorship-fighting axis to dull the expansion of nefarious post-Soviet enterprise (on BackChannels, have a look at Venezuela).
BackChannels’ trope regarding dictatorships: “Different Talks — Same Walk!”
So back to Omar al-Bashir who cannot tolerate that Sudanese should get the world’s news coming out about his regime worldwide.
The news, however, does get out, making the dictator’s image increasingly indelible and negative in global conscience and memory.
Since coming into power in 1989, al-Bashir worked to systemically consolidate power by banning political parties, dissolving parliament and actively muzzling political dissent, through arrests, torture and executions, as recent events demonstrate. His government also worked to systematically ban trade unions, which played a key role in two successful popular uprisings in Sudan — one in 1964 and another in 1985.
Africa News. “Sudan protest hub: Student rallies ramp up pressure on govt”. February 19, 2019.
Journalists – local and international, have been caught in the middle of the protests. Foreign reporters have been deported or ordered out over their coverage whiles local journalists have been arrested and allegedly tortured. Rolls of daily and weekly newspapers have also been confiscated. A number of varsity professors in the capital Khartoum were recently arrested for attempting to stage a protest.
These systematic arrests have targeted not only reporters covering protests in almost all parts of the country but also journalists who themselves dared to protest against the regime’s policy of censorship and arrests of journalists with the aim of restricting coverage of the protests.
Venezuela is of limited strategic importance to Russia, though it offers symbolic significance in demonstrating Putin’s reach into a region seen as Washington’s backyard. Russia doesn’t have the capacity to send forces there as it did to support Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, limiting itself to publicity stunts like a December visit by two nuclear-capable bombers.
Moscow reads the news too, and while perhaps absent of conscience but mindful of money, it’s confidence in the success of the political societies once aligned, captivated, or enthralled with their relationship to the Soviet may be dimming. While perhaps putting a “little” money in the under-the-table pockets of its own, it has also watched parts of Central and South American states churn into cesspool of competing cartels and gangs destroying communities, exporting the nasty — the full smorgasbord of contraband — and for hundreds of thousands producing flight en masse anywhere that hasn’t become a personal no-security hell. Now the chief Phantom of the Soviet appears to be having a look-see at the future of at least one portfolio of debt accumulated by a once ideologically favored son and the picture just isn’t so wonderful as it must have once appeared.
Banning the trading of Russian bonds have been tossed around ever since Trump got elected. Anti-Russian politicians on both sides of the aisle have taken full advantage of Trump being caught in a Russian scandal to force the president to play super hardball with Vladimir Putin and anyone within a country mile of him. Since taking office, Trump has already signed harsher sanctions against Russian individuals and Russian companies, making some of them extra-territorial. Extra-territorial means sanctions apply to non-U.S. citizens and entities transacting with the sanctioned firm subject to penalties.
Let’s start with “East v West”, i.e., “Moscow v Washington” -> “Feudal Absolutism (and Totalitarianism) v Modern Democratic Liberalism” -> and on this blog, “Medieval v Modern”:
As Venezuela’s political crisis is unfolding, the unwavering support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his allies for the embattled Nicolas Maduro has been a wide-discussed theme in international media. For some, by standing by Maduro against the “U.S.-backed coup ”, Turkey is only paying its respects to the Venezuelan president, who expressed solidarity with Erdoğan during the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016. Interestingly, Venezuela was among the first countries to back Turkey during the botched coup attempt in Turkey. Maduro’s immediate support to Erdoğan came at a time the Western allies of Ankara were slow to show their reaction over the coup attempt.
What in the hell is Turkey doing in NATO (FB Presence in Part)?
You tell me.
They know how to hang together.
For the time being, some Venezuelans have figured out that money has meaning, and they have gone to ground, literally, to dig up gold that they sell to the Venezuelan state (who else?) and the state sells on to . . . Turkey!
Facilitating the transport of gold is Turkish Airlines, it said, noting, ”On New Year’s Day, 2018, Venezuela’s central bank began shipping gold to Turkey with a $36 million air shipment of the metal to Istanbul. It came just weeks after a visit by Maduro to Turkey. Shipments last year reached $900 million, according to Turkish government data and trade reports.”
— appears to have decided to start over with the Treasure of the Sierra Madre — i.e., with some portion of the people digging up wealth — gold — from out of the ground.
Hey, it’s money.
Oh — it’s also capitalism.
From Business Live:
The scale of Venezuela’s current social, economic and political crisis is so severe it is difficult to comprehend. Hyper-inflation has decimated the national currency and crippled the economy. Oil production — which accounts for 95% of the country’s export revenues — has halved since Maduro took power in 2013 and the industry has been further weakened by the collapse of the price of oil in 2014.
In 2018, the economy contracted by 18% and by the end of the year inflation had soared to 1-million percent. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted inflation will increase to 10-million percent by the latter half of 2019. These are dizzying figures but they only reflect one part of the complex situation Venezuela is facing.
Yada yada yada — fodder for dozens to hundreds to thousands of articles avoiding reference to the Soviet / Post-Soviet disaster now 26 years past the dissolving of Russia’s Communist passion play — and the world’s tragedy.
Off the cuff —
Zimbabwe tells the story of a dictatorship that personally reintroduced cholera to its people — and Mugabe made it possibly by denying a rival funds for sanitation chemicals (you may look that one up yourself unless the editor here goes all OCD on you).
Syria — with the help of Moscow and Tehran, Bashar al-Assad has succeeded in barrel bombing half of his state (or more) into deeply depopulated oblivion. While one may thank Mother Nature — oh, and ourselves — for the global warming damaging Syria’s agricultural economy, the necessity, eventual of mass migration may have been met with kindness and international cooperation.
BC guesses not.
Where else would you like to go in the still medieval worlds of “political absolutism”?
BC imagines power quite intoxicating if it can do to innocents what is depicted in the above video.
MOSCOW/LONDON (Reuters) – Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro has sought OPEC support against U.S. sanctions imposed on his country’s oil industry, citing their impact on oil prices and potential risks for other members of the producer group.
The Organisation for the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and top oil producer but non-member Russia will not create a formal combined body as originally planned, Reuters hasreported. In a draft document, the countries said they aim to set up an alliance rather than a formal organisation when they meet on April 17-18 in Vienna.
BC would add to the list of Moscow’s sphere-of-influence failures — well what is one to expect of criminal mercenaries and politicians!? — Crimea, Ukraine, which has been battle torn torn for five suffering years under Moscow’s false pretenses. From Michael MacKay via his Radio Lemberg:
Almost five years after the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine in Crimea, Putin’s army is still on the attack. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are bombarding and assaulting Ukrainian defenders in Donbas, as they have been doing continuously since April 2014. Yesterday, February 10, was typical in that the Russians violated the Minsk Agreement ceasefire in every sector of the battlefront.
In the Party I was beginning to see many people of a different stripe. During the war period I saw how opportunism and selfishness engulfed many comrades. They wore expensive clothes, lived in fine apartments, took long vacations at places provided by men of wealth. There was, for one, William Wiener, former treasurer of the Party, manipulator for a score of business enterprises, who wore Brooks Brothers suits, smoked expensive cigars, and lunched only at the best places. There were the trade union Communists who rubbed elbows with underworld characters at communist-financed night clubs, and labor lawyers who were given patronage by the Party by assignment to communist-led trade unions and now were well established and comfortable.
Communist Party USA leader Bell Dodd’s 1954 remark as relayed by Wikipedia may have special resonance today in the socialist’s disaster continuing to unfold — or perhaps preparing to fold — in Venezuela.
While it had been one thing to share Venezuela’s good fortune and wealth with the public, perhaps especially with massive revenues pumped out of the ground, it has been another for the socialist government to suppress the private ownership of productive ideas and resources while utterly failing to diversify a national economy with the intent to forestall a one-market boom-or-bust (it busted) disaster.
For BackChannels, the cite-quote-cite-quote method has grown tiresome, so the reader may take this post as a reference page but with the suggestion that Maduro’s now patently criminal junta — access the OCCRP and InSight Crime reports cited in reference — may choose to loot and flee the country having proven themselves unable to judiciously and responsibly govern the same — or, in the manner demonstrated by Assad in Syria, they may enjoy being carved up by similarly predatory trade partners.
BackChannels’ humanism in relation to economic development would counsel the damping of dogma in the search for a good mix of private incentives for economic diversification x public policies and programs fit to constituent needs for “basics” plus psychological enthusiasm, fitness, and growth. From the same stance, the messianic self-aggrandizement associated with dictatorships would be viewed as damaging and limiting the greater public experience and potential for good things, starting with community-wide and personal security.
(For related exploration or some meditation on dictatorship, this blog offers portals for “Malignant Narcissism” and its own proposed concept, “Facsimile Bipolar Political Sociopathy“. Neither would differentiate between Far Left and Far Right authoritarianism or kleptocracy — and it would place both as more appropriate in the operating environments of the feudal world and fit to related medieval worldviews associated with “political absolutism” and sovereignty. Wherever placed x space x time, the absence of conscience looms large with dictatorships and the related criminality associated with power becomes glaring and, eventually, beyond bearing).
Bella Dodd, by the way, would renounce Communism toward the end of her journey and again embrace the Catholicism with which she had been born.
What is clear from our investigations is that the following institutions are staffed at the higher echelons by individuals we believe are, or have been, engaged in criminal activity: The Vice Presidency, the Ministries of Interior (Ministerio del Poder Popular del Despacho de la Presidencia y Seguimiento de la Gestión de Gobierno), Defense (Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Defensa), Agriculture (Ministerio del Poder Popular de Agricultura Urbana), Education (Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Educación), Prison Service (Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Servicio Penitenciario), Foreign Trade and Investment (Ministerio de Estado para el Comercio Exterior e Inversión Internacional), Electricity (Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Energía Eléctrica), the National Guard (Guardia Nacional Bolivariana), the Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Bolivarianas), the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional – SEBIN) and PdVSA.
The penetration of so many key institutions, and the fact that they constitute the state’s main organs in the fight against organized crime, means that Venezuela cannot even contain organized crime, let alone effectively fight it. With so many state actors with interests in criminal activity, be it fuel smuggling, the black market sale of food and medicines or the trafficking of cocaine, this factor alone suggests that Venezuela qualifies as a mafia state.
The Sudanese have only to look toward Syria to know how bad revolution before a tyrant may become. While the spectacle of the Syrian Tragedy may have been expected to quell enthusiasm for a similarly motivated revolution in Sudan, it appears to BackChannels at this hour that caught between starvation and a tyrant, the Sudanese motivation — and perhaps the motivation of the military as well — may grow the violence and the level of direct threat encountered by President(-for-Life) Omar al-Bashir.
Of particular and peculiar interest in that story may be the bonding expressed between dictatorships
In Ankara, deputy chairperson of the ruling Justice and Development party Cevdet Yilmaz also expressed support for Al-Bashir’s government after a meeting with the Sudanese ambassador on Wednesday
“We support the legitimate government of Sudan. Turkey has faced similar ploys many times,” Yilmaz said, adding that Turkey is confident that the government is sensitive to the demands of the Sudanese people and would avoid violence.
Although Erdogan’s Turkey exploits NATO for its military defense from Russian aggression in that dimension, it has effectively destroyed democracy in the state and bonded with Russia — or leveraged itself — with the “Turkish Stream” energy project. Basically for the Turks, liberal democracy and freedom have died in their homeland, and they have become part of an increasingly family-run business masquerading some as a sultanate.
“In most of Sudan’s almost 170 cities and big towns, someone has been shot. In some of them, more than 15 people have been shot. The shooting is happening through unofficial types of militia that the regime is using,” says Khansaa Al Kaarib, a Sudanese human rights lawyer and activist.
“For 30 years, this is what the Sudanese people have been getting from Bashir: Killing, killing, killing and more killing. People are simply fed up with this and they want to change this regime. They want to get out of the perception of a people lying under an ICC-wanted criminal, as soon as possible.”
The Sudanese story has had a similar start with a modest protest driven by hunger — i.e., economic protest with ecological variables in play — met by escalating means of repression, including live fire that taken or produced martyrs that in turn have become the focus of additional protests.
For Sudanese now active in shutting down Bashir’s goverment and replacing with a government more modern, responsive, and responsible, here is the voice from that other protest against continued (and Russian) feudal political absolutism as once represented by the corrupt and thuggish Viktor Yanukovych:
BackChannels awaits the Sudanese version: “I am Sudanese, and we have tired of the war criminal in Khartoum . . . .
— In President Vladimir Putin’s Soviet / post-Soviet way, that which best serves the dictator’s political ambitions and ends becomes “pravda” — “truth”. —
It appears Moscow would dispute even the existence — even the possibility — of integrity in information.
In the world’s “Totalitarian Information Spaces (TIS)”, 🙂 , all expression — all thought — is political, malleable, and manipulative.
All of a sudden, RT inverts Browder’s claims regarding his friend and motivation for the Magnitsky Act, and assigns the murder to Browder himself.
Russian accountant Sergey Magnitsky may have been poisoned and his former employer, financier Bill Browder, was possibly behind the murder, prosecutors have found. Now, Moscow will place Browder on the international wanted list.
UK businessman Browder had much interest in the death of Sergey Magnitsky after receiving what he wanted from the accountant, an adviser to the Russian prosecutor general told the briefing.
“Based on the documents that were shown, an obvious conclusion can be made that, having received a false statement from Magnitsky that was used for provocation, Browder was interested in Sergey Magnitsky’s death more than anyone else in order to avoid exposure,” Nikolai Atmonyev said.
Given enough time and manpower, Moscow may turn night into day — and day and light into night and darkness.
In President Vladimir Putin’s Soviet / post-Soviet way, that which best serves the dictator’s political ambitions and ends becomes “pravda” — “truth”.
British officials expect Alexander Prokopchuk, a former major-general at the Russian Interior Ministry, to be elected as Interpol president as soon as Wednesday, The Times reported, without saying where it got the information.
Earlier this morning, BackChannels updated a compilation of references associated with Romanian KGB defector Ion Mihai Pacepa, which activity recalled in part how difficult the battle for empiricism, integrity (most of all), and reason may be before a veritable disinformation army devoted to the preservation of despotism and tyranny on behalf of the limitless needs (for “narcissistic supply”) of a single damaged, ruthless, sadistic, and vacant soul.
After his murder, the Russian authorities covered up the crime, exonerated and promoted the people involved, and put Magnitsky on trial three years after he died, in the first trial of a dead man in Russian history.