Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Technically (in)correct propaganda" versus telling the truth to power and even to oneself

Joaquin Flores presented a manual for "technically correct propaganda" the "good example" of which includes an important and actually truthful piece by Dugin, which is actually one of several other studies that have already "outed" so to speak the role of Khodakovsky, the Vostok battalion commander, responsible for the decimation of his battalion at the Donbass airport and then leading his men to a prepared ambush on the border. Khodakovsky himself is clearly part of multiple games played in the background. Dugin's piece is thus a very strange exemplification of what Flowers otherwise seems to advocate. The "exemplary" piece by Dugin meets no explicit talking points or demands made by Flores on behalf of "technically correct propaganda." In fact, in its essence, it directly contradicts them.

Flowers' stated concerns are laudable, and the call for taking or stealing the liberals' monopoly on "human rights" is one of the battles that needs to be won. 

There are, however, some serious issues with Flowers' directives. In my view, the most critical are the following:

1. "The concept of the ‘just war’ still prevails today, and despite the loss of property and regrettable destruction of lives and the increasing casualties, the cementing in the European (and internally, Russian) discourse that the Russians are the victims is more valuable in the near term and long term, and ultimately will save more lives than would be otherwise."

The notion that having made or allowed one's enemy to produce more corpses and suffering on one's side to buy with it more sympathy in the West or some "value" with one's own people is a way of saving lives has no factual or even logical support. Just war theory emphasizes mainly the importance of the cause, and people sympathize with various sides based on their interests and the cause. Both recent and not recent wars produced many dead people and suffering, and people showed an amazing ability and willingness to ignore or even cheer suffering and death of the side, which they don't like or don't care about. 

But to induce the enemy to "increase one's own casualties" and call it a strategy is like a devil's advice. In fact, this is what some of Western propaganda started imputing to Putin in order to present him as a leader who does not care for the people and uses them merely as an instrument of cold-blooded realpolitik. Reapolitik works as a snake charm for students of politics, but one cannot lead and inspire a nation with it.

To say that, basically the Russian government needs to buy Western opinion with Russian blood and present this is a pro-Russian position is as good as asking a person to shoot his own arm off so that he can be then helped with someone else's arm.

I am not sure when knowingly letting one's people die (without any other reason except for having them die) on a massive scale has ever gained oneself a sympathy from others ... unless, as in cases like in 9/11, the "letting" is kept secret for a sufficient length of time, which is possible only under a near total control or domination of the media and info space. But then one would be merely trying to plagiarize the Empire's cookbook.

In a word, to let fascists kill or even overrun one's own in order to impress emotionally the liberals is quite something in itself. Especially, if these liberals are actually allies and cheerleaders with the same fascists.

To present this as a serious strategy with a serious face is a very bold sale pitch, to say the least.

Yet knowing what things are sold and bought, one can never underestimate either a man's folly or the cunning of the salesman. 

2. "Putin must finally act when he is pushed from below and from  the sides by all; rather, by all who are outraged and upset by the crimes committed by the KJ campaign.  To act before this, conversely, is to draw the ire both in Europe and in Russia of the liberals.  Of course their ire will be there at any rate, but the critical question is the language of the liberals."

To base one's decisions of war and peace on the pressure of excited emotions (pressure from all sides) and, above all, from the liberals, is the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time. Especially if to make decisions only then and only under such conditions is get the get the liberal's ire anyway--because "of course their ire will be there at any rate." So no matter what ones does, one will still upset and outrage the liberals, the enemies, but one must "act finally only" when the liberals are "at any rate" upset ... For "the language of the liberals is the critical question." To make one's salvation, strategy or victory depend on whether the liberals are going to be pleased or slightly less upset is tantamount to basing one's actions and decisions on the emotions and pleasures of the liberals. The West would love that and so would the liberals. But, of course, seeing what is happening, one can never discount either one's amoral short-sightedness (I took out a more mundane term) or such friendly advice.

3. "It is important to maintain the pervasive belief at the targeted audience that Russia is not involved while not attacking Putin or the Russian effort."

According to Flowers, "technically correct propaganda" in Ukraine in the interest of Moscow would be then pervasively claiming, lying, believing or establishing that  Russia is not involved. But, at the same time, Russia's established or claimed non-involvement must no be presented as a criticism, issue, or problem. Something like: "Let us pretend that A) we are doing what we are not doing and that we are not doing what we are doing so that we can do the opposite of what we are (not) doing ... when we sell and exchange our victimhood and blood for the language of the liberals and emotional ire."

Flowers does not seem to believe that truthfulness about principles and fundamental issues might be the best and most needed strategy. To mobilize people by preaching non-involvement is like trying to breathe by closing one's mouth and nose. Moreover, if one has to mobilize and sway people based on pretense and lies, one might have a still bigger problem somewhere.

One central problem in this is the lack positive evidence that the Russian government does want Novorossyia to succeed. Putin went on record saying that he wanted the junta's presidential elections to succeed. Putin also went on record against holding the referenda in the people's republics.

Moreover, at this point, we still have not even the slightest sign of any publicly expressed moral support for the people's republics by the Russian government.

Kiev started increasing its military buildup around Crimea, concentrating a portion of its heavy weapons there. Kiev's strategy is a strategy and it is a plan, and it is methodical as was its siege of Slavyansk, which forced people's self-defense to retreat from five larger cities with a combined population of over 500,000 people. The Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic now control just about 20% of these regions' territory.

Some people think that one of the key purposes of analysis is to keep reassuring oneself of the feeble-mindedness of one's opponent, whether this feeble-mindedness is real or assumed, and congratulate oneself on one's assured victory every such an opportunity of the opponent's assumed or real feeble-mindedness presents oneself. Truth to be hold, this is putting Sun Tzu not only on his head, but turning the art of war into a battle of the most placating fairy tales and does more harm to oneself. Underestimating the enemy is a kinderstube mistake.

Strelkov asked: Why did Russia rush to rescue several thousand South Ossetians and not millions of Russians? One of the most obvious reasons seems to be that the Western pressure against Russia helping in Ukraine is many times stronger than in Iraq. Helping in Ukraine is the least and most undesirable thing which the West wants to see Russia to do. Hence the greatest pressure and threats ... The other reason is, and I think now very obvious that Russia did not expect that there would be a people's pro-Russian revolt in eastern Ukraine. And so they did not plan for it, and since they did not plan for it (unlike for securing the bases in Crimea), they, indeed, did not have plans, policies, and strategies in place. Governments are people too, and, in most cases, they work more slowly than people do. In history, it happened few times that revolutions happened that took even revolutionaries who were trying to prepare for them and make them by surprise and unprepared. And the more if this happens to a state and bureaucracy under oligarchy where nothing happens before someone produces many pages and then submits them to a whole hierarchy of approvals and permissions.

So these are strange times, indeed. In 1939-1941, Stalin was afraid to mobilize or build better defenses in the west in fear that Nazi Germany would consider it aggressive. 

In 2014, when the Banderites came to power in Kiev, we are assuring each other that greater and more effective help to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics would be bad, dangerous and stupid because fascists in Kiev and their allies would call it an aggression. 

We or so many of us, and apparently also many Russians, are afraid of what the fascists would say of them or us ... if we don't do what they want us to do.

In 1999, NATO called even Yugoslavia's self-defense an act of aggression. 

And today Iran's pursuit of nuclear energy is also called an act of aggression.

In 2001, the non-existent connection between Iraq and 9/11 was called an act of aggression. In 2001, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, previously destroyed by the UN, were also called aggression. 

Thus, the Empire's lies were called aggression on the part of someone else.

How does one please fascists without becoming one of them or one of the victims of their aggression? 

By the way, the West has already called Crimea's return to Russia aggression. The West also called Russia's response to Georgia's attack in 2008 a Russian war of aggression as well. 

In the eye of principled fascism, one's existence is enough to be declared aggression. The old Hobbesian principle behind the modern corporate state whose "natural state" is war against all else.

Strange things are, however, often a result of our misinformation, false beliefs, ignorance, or the lack of knowledge and understanding; perhaps a combination of states of denial and being misled. 

So some "strange" things to consider:

1. In 1988 and perhaps even in early 1989, who would have thought that communists in the former East would not only agree to the fall of communism, but would also engineer it or actively help it to happen?
2. A NATO officer: We foresaw the breakup of Yugoslavia at least as early as 1983.
3. Banderites waging war, killing civilians and marauding in eastern Ukraine 400 miles east of Moscow with NATO full support? How many would have thought this absolutely crazy just several months ago?
4. Would many people have thought that that the US and NATO would want to bomb Syria in order to help al Qaeda armies?
5. How many would have thought that Russia would give Ukraine (a fascist junta) some $5 billion in free gas?
6. Do many people know that the Hague Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia keeps behind bars Vojislav Seselj for more than eleven and half years for his speeches and political activity and without conviction? 
7. Do you know that when the US invaded Afghanistan with 140,000 troops (more or less) to fight al Qaeda 50-200 men strong--according to the Pentagon's own public statements?
8. How many fascists in Ukraine does it take to command a nation of 44 million whose every fifth member was killed by the Nazis in World War II?

And this is just a quick short list.

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