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From spy to president: The rise of Vladimir Putin
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    From spy to president: The rise of Vladimir Putin

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    Salaam

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    Vladimir Putin has been ruling Russia since 1999. In that time he has shaped the country into an authoritarian and militaristic society. The Soviet Union dissolved into 15 new countries, including the new Russian Federation. In Putin’s eyes, Russia had just lost 2 million square miles of territory. But Putin’s regime has also developed and fostered the most effect cyber hacker army in the world and he’s used it to wreak havoc in the West. But the election of Donald Trump brings new hope for the Putin vision. Trump’s rhetoric has been notably soft on Russia. He could lift sanctions and weaken NATO, potentially freeing up space for Putin’s Russia to become a dominant power once again.


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    Re: From spy to president: The rise of Vladimir Putin

    Salaam

    Another update



    The New Far Right is uniting globally and Russia is capitalising on it

    In the 60s, Russia took advantage of leftist anti-imperialist movements in an attempt to destabilise the liberal world order. Today, the Russians are trying to repeat the feat with the far-right, only this time, Islamophobia is the rallying cry.

    The Civil Rights Movement, opposition to the Vietnam War, and a disillusionment with the authoritarian nature of Communism and socialism gave birth to the international New Left in the 1960s, culminating with global anti-war protests in 1968. Today, a New Far Right is being internationalised, fueled by a primary source: Islamophobia.

    Given leftist politics trace their roots in the principles of emancipation, liberation, equality and social justice, it’s easy to forget that the primary terror threat for law enforcement agencies in the Western world for much of the 1970s were leftist organisations.

    Leftist terror groups like the Italian Red Brigades, Japanese Red Army, Red Army Faction, the French Action Directe, and the American Weather Underground (founded with the goal of bringing an end to US imperialism), carried out a combined total of more than several thousand terror attacks across Europe and the United States in the 1970s and 80s.

    These leftist terror groups shared a common core set of beliefs, including vehement opposition to their own governments, Western colonialism, the European order, US imperialism, Cold War politics, all alongside an expressed solidarity with anti-colonial and civil rights movements.

    Many of these groups also shared another stand out feature in common: they were funded by the Soviet Union.

    In particular, the KGB and East Germany’s secret intelligence agency—the Stasi—provided European leftist terror groups like the Italian Red Brigades, Red Army Faction and the 2nd June Movement in Germany with funding, arms, and training, with the hope these groups would, through their use of violence, destabilise the European democratic order and weaken Western democratic states.

    When the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980s, however, support for leftist terror groups dried up, bringing a sudden halt to the terror wave of the New Left.

    The Russian ‘New Wave’

    Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative, aims to restore the glory days of the Soviet Union by turning to the same old playbook. But instead of utilising the far-left, like the Soviet Union had five decades earlier, Putin is galvanising far-right groups across the world to destabilise the European democratic order, undermine Western alliances, and create havoc within Western democratic states – and Islamophobia and xenophobia is the glue that is bringing these far-right groups and individuals across the globe together.

    “We are witnessing the emergence of a new internationalised far right: propelled by deep antipathy towards Muslims,” observes Hope Not Hate, a UK based anti-racist advocacy group.

    We now know Russia used Islamophobia as a central pivot point in its effort to influence the 2016 US election in Donald Trump’s favour. It did this by establishing online troll farms, amplifying anti-Muslim tweets and posts on social media, while at the same time setting up thousands of fake social media accounts to portray extremist Islamic views as emblematic of the typical American Muslim.

    For example, a Facebook page titled United Muslims of America pushed erroneous memes claiming Trump’s opponent, Hilary Clinton, admitted to “creating, funding, and arming” Al Qaeda and ISIS (Daesh). It also purchased advertisements on Facebook promoting fake nationwide Islamic rallies.

    Whereas pamphlets were the propaganda medium of choice for leftist radicals in the 1970s, the Internet is the preferred medium for the emerging internationalised far right. Far-right groups share anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant memes, while also amplifying those who peddle in the demonisation of the perceived foreign other.

    Russia’s effort to internationalise the far-right via Islamophobia has been so effective that the US ambassador to the United Kingdom lobbied the British government to release infamous anti-Muslim hate preacher Tommy Robinson from prison, who is serving a 13 month sentence for defying a court order.

    Robinson’s army of Muslim hating supporters, however, has deliberately misconstrued his prison term to be punishment for protesting against Muslim trial defendants, thus igniting a global far-right protest against encroachments on “free speech,” or rather hate speech.

    Far-right groups across the world have made the case of Tommy Robinson akin to a cause celebre, with Donald Trump Junior extending his support for the two-time felon, along with Steve Bannon, President Trump’s former chief-of-staff.

    A united ideological current

    According to Hope Not Hate, “Many of those people lionising ‘Tommy’ now probably have little or no idea of the reach and influence of the money behind their man, but Stephen Lennon [Tommy Robinson’s birth name] has long-received support from a coterie of notorious anti-Muslim extremists in the US and elsewhere,” adding that these groups are “determined to stoke conflict and division across Europe.”

    While tracing the money behind these far-right groups is not easy, according to Linda Curika, the spokesperson for NATO strategic communications, Russian support for extremists is “all part of a Kremlin strategy to weaken political support for the European Union and NATO.”

    “There is a clear ideological link between American white supremacists and the European far-right,” Curika said. “Ideological support that is easily seen. The money is more difficult to trace.”

    What is more readily known, however, is the large sums of money funneling into European far-right political parties and organisations from Russian state banks.

    For instance, a Kremlin controlled bank extended a 9 million Euro loan to Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party during the 2017 French national election. In Austria, the Kremlin backed far-right extremist Freedom Party formed a coalition government on the back of anti-Muslim sentiment, with some members of the government known for expressing neo-Nazi sentiments.

    These Russian backed European far-right political parties and groups interact with influential and prominent figures among far-right groups and individuals in the United States, creating a feedback loop in which anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant memes and tropes are shared, elevated, and amplified.

    
”Although our country has always had white supremacists, Russia has given them renewed focus and energy, as well as a ready-made worldview. This take on the world includes overt white nationalism, which despises the United States as a decadent and multiracial society,” observes John Schindler, a former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer.

    Russian funded far-right propaganda has been so effective, according to Schindler, that white nationalists in the United States, who he says would be unable to find Syria on a map, now express overt support for the Russian-backed Syrian regime leader, Bashar al Assad.

    “Ideological synchronicity between the American neo-Nazis and the Kremlin approaches complete overlap,” notes Schindler.

    All of this brings us to the dramatic rise of far-right terrorism across Europe, the UK, and the United States. A recent report by Europol found that far-right and separatist groups and individuals were responsible for 137 of 205 terrorist attacks in 2017, while a recent report prepared for Congress by the Government Accountability Office revealed that “of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far-right wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73 percent).”

    Essentially, Europe and the United States is reliving the wave of political terrorism both continents experienced in the 1970s and 80s, but this time from the political right, rather than the left, and with Russia again greasing the wheels, only this time with Islamophobia, not anti-imperialism.

    https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/the-new-far-right-is-uniting-globally-and-russia-is-capitalising-on-it-19279
    Last edited by Junon; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:30 PM.

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    Re: From spy to president: The rise of Vladimir Putin

    Salaam

    Another update

    USA v Russia


    The US and Russia have been at war for several years now. Yes, this war is roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic. But this can change very rapidly. The main reasons for this war are not just the usual mix of grand power rivalries, economic and financial struggles, the desire to control raw materials or strategic geographical locations. These are all present this time too, but the deeper reason for this war is that Russia and the US represent two mutually exclusive civilizational models. Very succinctly, Russia wants a multi-polar world in which each country is free to develop as its people see fit and in which international law regulates relations between nations.

    The Empire stands, well, for itself, of course. Meaning that it wants a single world hegemony ruled by the AngloZionists. Furthermore, Russia stands for traditional moral and spiritual values whereas the Empire stands for greed, globalism and the destruction of all traditions and moral values. It is pretty self-evident that these two systems cannot coexist. They present existential threats to each other. Russia will either become sovereign or enslaved. The Empire will either control the planet or crumble. Tertium non datur.

    The Russians fully understand that, as do the leaders of the transnational AngloZionist Empire. You think that I am exaggerating? Well, see for yourself what Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had to say on this topic: (emphasis added)

    We are witnessing historic changes across the entire threat landscape … The balance of power that has characterized the international system for decades has been corroding. America’s unipolar moment is at risk. Power vacuums are springing up across the globe and are quickly filled by hostile nation-states, terrorists and transnational criminals. They all share a common goal: They want to disrupt our way of life — and many are inciting chaos, instability and violence

    Except for the totally hypocritical comment at the end about “chaos, instability and violence” (which are, by far, the biggest US exports), she is spot on. Hence the current tensions.

    There is the very real possibility that this war will suddenly become 100% kinetic. The Russians also understand that, and this is why they have been preparing for WWIII for several years now. As I have already stated many times, the US armed forces are in no condition to fight a conventional war against Russia, and the recent Russian advances in military technology have pretty much rendered the US Navy and Air Force more or less useless. The US nuclear triad, however, is still fully functional and is more than sufficient to destroy Russia.

    Russia has therefore also dramatically increased her strategic deterrence capabilities and in effect rendered all the US ABM efforts useless. Following the old motto si vis pacem, para bellum, Russia has now developed an entire family of new weapons systems designed to deter the US from any attack (see Andrei Martyanov’s analysis here and my own here). Putin’s plan is quite evident: he hopes that Russia will be able to convince the leaders of the United States that an attack on Russia would be suicidal. Now all Russia can do is try to do everything in her power to avoid such a conflict.

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/reply-to-paul-craig-roberts-crucial-question/

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    Re: From spy to president: The rise of Vladimir Putin

    Salaam

    More on the origins of Putin.

    Blurb

    What is RUSSIA'S PUTIN'S GRAND VISION? Winston Churchill once said Russia is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Today, Western nations still have trouble understanding Russia's plans. Putin is trying to reconstruct the historic Russian sphere of influence through annexation of parts of neighbouring states and the projection of Russian power to other regions of the world.



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    Re: From spy to president: The rise of Vladimir Putin

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb

    China's president Xi Jinping is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok during the Eastern Economic Forum. The three-day meeting brings together the leaders of Russia, China, Japan and South Korea, as well 5,000 delegates from 60 countries.

    It's the two leaders’ third meeting and comes amid an escalating US-China trade war and US-led sanctions against Russia. The rapproachement has led the two powers to hold massive, joint wa r games - the largest for Russia since the Cold War.




    blurb

    Russia’s largest war games in recent history have kicked off in the Far East. The Defence Ministry said the largest military drills since the end of the Cold War will involve about 36,000 tanks and 300,000 troops at sea and on the ground. China is sending 3,200 troops to take part in the Vostok 2018 exercises later this week.

    Last edited by Junon; 1 Week Ago at 09:10 PM.

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    Re: From spy to president: The rise of Vladimir Putin

    Salaam

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    Blurb

    One of the very foundations of political science is the principle that geography determines destiny. In the same way that the British Isles determined the naval culture, and the frontier affected the American culture, Russia too, can be defined by its geographic characteristics. The most obvious element of Russia's geography is its enormous size. However, the truth is that Russia's size is both an advantage as well as a liability.

    The very core of the Russian Federation, the Moscow region, is simply indefensible. There are no mountainous ranges; no rivers or oceans, there are no swamps or deserts. Only the forests of Moscow and the inhospitable climate can be defined as geographic obstacles. The only thing the Russians can do in event of an invasion is to drag out the war and bleed the enemy out. It is for this reason that Russia's history is largely about surviving invasion after invasion. These centuries long experiences left a deep mark in the Russian culture and psychology, and due to these experiences the Russian leadership became obsessed with security and survival.



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