Correction – Russia is not “dismantling civil society”

A Russian court has ordered the Memorial International organisation to close. This Russian organisation, which receives funding from abroad, has campaigned for a number of years to preserve the memory of the terrible deeds of repression that were committed during the Stalin era. More recently they seem to have become more of a general ‘Human Rights’ organisation promoting ‘democratic values’ – filing cases with the European Court of Human Rights and defending ‘political prisoners’.

In 2016 the organisation was added to the list of Foreign Agents. This is a Russian law which requires civil society organisations which receive funding from abroad to fulfil certain obligations. They have to file detailed accounts with the authorities and they have to display on each publication (including each web article) a message saying that they are a Foreign Agent. Memorial has been banned on the grounds that they have flouted this law by not displaying the statements as required by law. It seems they do not deny this. [1] The prosecutor argued in court that this was not an accident but was done specifically because they wanted to hide this.

I have had a look at their website – which is still available at the time of writing. There appears to be a fairly trimmed down list of funders which mentions a number of foundations, some Russian, and a few based abroad; for example – a German organisation which appears to be concerned with remembering the victims of Nazi atrocities. The Embassy of Canada in Russia is also mentioned. Not mentioned is the Soros Foundation (already banned in Russia) which has funded Memorial or US private Foundation the Ford Foundation. [2] Possibly the list is of current funders and these organisations no longer fund them – but it also seems possible that this list is rather carefully curated. (No US funders mentioned; there is quite a lot of anti American feeling in Russia and it would not make them more popular to admit to being funded by American foundations).

Continue reading “Correction – Russia is not “dismantling civil society””

Fawning

Interesting to see how the “progressive” Guardian fawns so obsequiously over the Royal Family – and not just the Royal Family but also minor royals. This is piece oozing sycophancy about Harry and Megan, a Christmas card and an all too obvious list of charitable donations. They obviously haven’t read the New Testament story about giving in secret:

So when you give to the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men

Matthew 6.3

Harry and Megan are a fantastically rich couple who trade off the privilege of being members of the British Royal Family.

That the Guardian fawns on them is a sure sign that “progressive politics” these days has no connection at all with any of the former concerns: ending exploitation and poverty – and achieving a fairer society. Presumably because this couple make the right noises about race, gender issues and “LGBT rights” they are acceptable (and not just acceptable but extolled) to the progressive “left”. Indeed they are probably being used to cement the social injustice and exploitation which still lies at the heart of modern industrial capitalist societies. If Harry and Meghan are “alright” and are held up as wonderful human beings that means that social privilege and injustice and massive wealth disparity are ok too. The fawning represents the epitome of the way that modern progressive politics has abandoned completely the economically disadvantaged in favour of “virtue-signalling” about various identity and victim eulogising political causes.

Guardian propaganda on Gaza

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s western-backed Palestine Authority, which is controlled by Fatah, fought a war with Hamas over Gaza in 2007, which led to Hamas taking over.

The above is from this article. There is no mention of in the article that Hamas won the election in Gaza. [1] A standard piece of sheer make-belief from the system press. And they go on about RT….

 

Notes

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_legislative_election,_2006

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jun/02/gaza-israel-flotilla-hamas  – in this Guardian opinion piece the writer acknowledges that Hamas did indeed win a “fair election”.

Propaganda by stealth

Propaganda doesn’t have to be full-on. It can be quite subtle. Here’s an example from the Guardian – that amplifier for the State Department:

It appears in a story about a British IT Security consultant being arrested by the FBI on charges related to creating hacking tools:

It [the WannaCry malware] moved particularly quickly through corporate networks thanks to its reuse of security exploit, called EternalBlue, first discovered by the NSA before being stolen and leaked by an allegedly Russian-linked hacking group called The Shadow Brokers.

A reader who was not all that tech-savvy reading the above might think that ‘EternalBlue’ was something which just exists in reality and which was (as the text says) ‘discovered’ by NSA (National Security Agency – US Intelligence). In fact: EternalBlue was one of numerous pieces of malware developed by the NSA in order to conduct espionage campaigns against third-party targets. (These targets included commercial companies as well as governments). EternalBlue was indeed ‘stolen’ (in as much as one set of criminals can steal from another) and then made publicly available.

A subtle difference? Not really: discovering an exploit is one matter. Producing a piece of malware which uses the exploit to intrude into systems is something else altogether. The NSA did the latter; not the former, as the Guardian would have you believe.

It was this malware which was obtained and then made publicly available by the ShadowBrokers. Edward Snowden, and others, believed that Russia was behind the ShadowBrokers. (The idea was that Russia, by showing that it has access to US intelligence hacking tools, was demonstrating that it could prove that the US was behind hacking attempts on third-parties). At any event – which is worse: building a tool to break into buildings or stealing that tool?

The Guardian is trying to spin this as Russia as the bad guy and the NSA as the good guys. But it’s propaganda. A little lie – swap ‘created by’ for ‘discovered by’ – and they hope that you won’t notice…