• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 14 november 2015

Paris 2

The Paris Terrorist Attacks, “9/11 French-Style”, “Le 11 septembre à la française”

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Terrorist attacks have been carried simultaneously in several locations in the Paris metropolitan area, according to early report.
According to reports (at the time of writing) 100 people were killed in the Bataclan Concert Hall, when terrorists opened fire with automatic weapons. Another 15 were killed at the Stadium of France outside Paris. 
Official reports at the time of writing (21.oo ET) point to more than 140 deaths. Our thoughts are with the family members of the victims, who have lost their loved ones.  
Within minutes following the attacks, which were launched simultaneously, and prior to the release of a preliminary report by the police, France’s media went into overdrive. News commentators and intelligence analysts on France’s network TV stated with authority that the attacks emanated from Syria and Iraq.
The media coverage of these tragic events was casually linked up with the war in the Middle East, highlighting France’s commitment –alongside its allies– in waging a “humanitarian war” against the terrorists.
The Islamic State was identified as the architect of the attacks.
The attacks were described without evidence as an act of revenge and retribution against France for having bombed ISIS strongholds in Syria and Iraq as part of Obama’s counter-terrorism air campaign.
Foreknowledge? 
Paris Match on October 2nd predicted a French Style 9/11, “un 11 septembre à la française”.
The threat is real, according to Judge Trévédic in an interview with Paris Match.  ”The attacks in France will be on  a scale comparable to 9/11″ (see below)
None of the early news reports on November 13th, mentioned the fact that a large scale and well organized terrorist attack had been predicted. The title of the media report below is:
“Intelligence services fear a 9/11 French Style”
Yet in a bitter irony the October report stated that these forthcoming attacks were difficult to avoid:  ”impossible a dejouer”, suggesting that French intelligence is inept and unable to prevent a forthcoming catastrophe.
What was the role of this media hype by Paris Match?
Media disinformation? Create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation?

France’s president Francois Hollande no doubt was aware of the October warnings. He had been briefed by his intelligence advisers.
Shortly before midnight local time on November 13, president François Hollande announced drastic police state measures against an alleged terrorist network operating nationwide.
It is highly unlikely, however, that Hollande took this decision spontaneously in the evening of November 13, on the spur of the moment in response to the attacks and prior to the holding of a cabinet meeting.  The decision to enact a State of Emergency had no doubt been envisaged in advance of the attack in relation to a potential terrorist attack scenario.
As we recall, the last time a State of Emergency was enacted was in May 1961 in response to the Algiers putsch (Putsch d’Alger), a failed coup d’état to overthrow President Charles de Gaulle’s government.
Hollande’s midnight speech had the appearances of having been scripted –i.e with regard to the adoption of a State of Emergency, a far-reaching political decision:
My dear compatriots
As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is a horror.
We have, on my decision, mobilised all forces possible to neutralise the terrorists and make all concerned areas safe. I have also asked for military reinforcements. They are currently in the Paris area, to ensure that no new attack can take place.
I have also called a cabinet meeting that will be held in a few minutes. [the measures are announced before consultation with the Cabinet]
Two decisions will be taken: a state of emergency will be declared, which means that some places will be closed, traffic may be banned , and there will also be searches which may be decided throughout Ile de France (greater Paris). The state of emergency will be proclaimed throughout the territory (of France). 
The second decision I have made is to close the borders. We must ensure that no one enters to commit any crimes and that those who have committed the crimes that we have unfortunately seen can also be arrested if they should leave the territory. 
This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us. We know where it comes fromwho these criminals are, who these terrorists are. 
In these difficult moments, we must – and I’m thinking of the many victims, their families and the injured – show compassion and solidarity. But we must also show unity and calm.
Faced with terror, France must be strong, it must be great and the state authorities must be firm. We will be.
We must also call on everyone to be responsible.
What the terrorists want is to scare us and fill us with dread. There is indeed reason to be afraid. There is dread, but in the face of this dread, there is a nation that knows how to defend itself, that knows how to mobilise its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists.
French citizens, we have not completed the operations. There are still some that are extremely difficult. It’s at this moment that the security forces are staging an assault, especially in a place in Paris.
I ask you to keep all your trust in what we can do with the security forces to protect our nation from terrorist acts.
Long live the Republic and long live France.” (emphasis added)
France is under attack. we must defend ourselves.
The political discourse is in some regards reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks and the statements of George W. Bush et al.
The media immediately started comparing the November 13 attacks in Paris to 9/11, intimating that France was at war and that the alleged Islamic State attack was from abroad, i.e. the Middle East.
Police State Measures
President Hollande had ordered by decree without debate or consultation with France’s National Assembly the enactment of a State of Emergency throughout France, coupled with the closing of France’s borders allegedly to prevent terrorists from coming in, and from terror suspects from leaving the country.
The measures also included procedures which enable the police to conduct arbitrary arrests and house searches without a warrant within the Paris metropolitan area opening up the development of a potential hate campaign directed against France’s Muslim population.
These drastic police state measures (including the repeal of habeas corpus) ordered by president Hollande were decided upon prior and in the absence of a police report. Initial reports confirmed the involvement of half a dozen terrorists. There was no evidence of a nationwide terror network.
But as we mentioned above, Hollande had no doubt been briefed by French intelligence which had, according to reports, “predicted” the possibility of a 9/11 style attack. (October 2 media reports).
France had been heralded in Paris Match, October 2, 2015 as the Number One Target of the Islamic State, “a terrorist army with unlimited potential…” The threat and diverse forms it can take suggest that our counter-terrorist abilities are no longer effective as they used to be”
President Hollande assumed that jihadists were behind the attacks, but when he made his speech, there was no evidence from police sources to support his statements.
Moreover, with regard to the Bataclan Concert Hall where there were more than one thousand people at a Rock concert, the reports confirmed that there were four kamikaze terrorists, all of them were killed. As in the case of Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher Grocery Store terrorist attacks in January 2015, the terrorists were killed rather than arrested and indicted.
Was there an attempt on the part of the police to capture them alive?
Moreover, the media was held at bay, they were not allowed to report what was happening within the Concert Hall, they were prevented from talking to the witnesses underlying this tragic event.
Meanwhile a curfew was imposed.
President Obama made a declaration early in the evening (ET) largely sustaining the “war on terrorism” narrative:
THE PRESIDENT:  Good evening, everybody.  I just want to make a few brief comments about the attacks across Paris tonight.  Once again, we’ve seen an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.  This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.
We stand prepared and ready to provide whatever assistance that the government and the people of France need to respond.  France is our oldest ally.  The French people have stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States time and again.  And we want to be very clear that we stand together with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
We’re going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice, and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people.
We don’t yet know all the details of what has happened.  We have been in contact with French officials to communicate our deepest condolences to the families of those who have been killed, to offer our prayers and thoughts to those who have been wounded.  We have offered our full support to them.  The situation is still unfolding.
This is a heartbreaking situation.  And obviously those of us here in the United States know what it’s like.  We’ve gone through these kinds of episodes ourselves.  And whenever these kinds of attacks happened, we’ve always been able to count on the French people to stand with us.  They have been an extraordinary counterterrorism partner, and we intend to be there with them in that same fashion.
… (emphasis added)
Obama is committed to helping the French people, in going after the terrorists.  France is a partner of  Obama’s bombing campaign initiated in August-September 2014 which theoretically is directed against the ISIS.
Hollande is described by Obama as an “extraordinary counterterrorism partner”. In turn, Hollande referring to the Islamic State says “We know where [Syria, Iraq] it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are”.
The clash of civilizations is implicit in Obama’s statement: “this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”
Who is Behind the Terrorists? 
What the French media in its coverage of these tragic events fails to mention is that both the US and France, not to mention Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel are covertly supporting various Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist formations in Syria and Iraq including al Nusrah and the Islamic State.
France is the victim of the Islamic State, but at the same time the US and its allies including France are “State sponsors” of the Islamic state which is an Al Qaeda affiliated entity.
Lest we forget, the US has supported Al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations for almost half a century since the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war.  CIA training camps were set up in Pakistan.  In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 jihadists from 43 Islamic countries were recruited by the CIA to fight in the Afghan jihad.  Since the Reagan Administration, Washington has supported the Islamic terror network.
In recent developments in the Middle East, the terrorists are recruited and trained by the Western military alliance. NATO and the Turkish High Command have been responsible for the recruitment of ISIS and Al Nusrah mercenaries from the outset of the Syrian insurgency in March 2011. According to Israeli intelligence sources, this initiative consisted in:
“a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011.)
There are Western Special Forces and Western intelligence operatives within the ranks of the ISIS. British Special Forces, and MI6 have been involved in training jihadist rebels in Syria.
The Islamic State (ISIS), the alleged architect of the Paris attacks, was originally an Al Qaeda affiliated entity created by US intelligence with the support of Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah ( رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة‎).
China unlikely to join Obama's anti-ISIS coalition: Report
The ISIS brigades were involved in the US-NATO supported insurgency in Syria directed against the government of  Bashar al Assad. Since August-September 2014, they are the object of Osama’s fake counter-terrorism campaign. The evidence, however, amply confirms that ISIS is protected by the Western military alliance.
With regard to France, a Washington Post  2011 report entitled “France sent arms to Libyan rebels,” confirms the role of the French government in support of the Al Qaeda affiliated Libya Islamic fighting Group (LIFG).
French officials announced Wednesday that they had armed rebels in Libya, marking the first time a NATO country has said it was providing direct military aid to opponents [LIFG]… 
According to Tony Cartalucci (Global Research: January 8, 2015)
While Hollande’s predecessor, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy would be the one to set foot in decimated Libya in the wake of NATO’s intervention there – which included in addition to French arms sent to terrorists, French planes providing these terrorists air cover as they carried out atrocities and genocide – Hollande would continue policies enacted under Sarkozy, both in Libya, and currently in Syria.
In early 2013, France joined its coalition partners in sending weapons to jihadist rebels in Syria including the Al Qaeda affiliated Al Nusra Front which France’s Le Monde identified as “moderate”:
The UK Foreign secretary William Hague, and his French counterpart Lauren Fabius, are leading an isolated charge within the EU to lift a supposed arms embargo to self-described ‘rebels’, hitherto destroying Syria for over two years. Several underlying factors need to be addressed before these diplomatic (some would say military) manoeuvres are put into context.
Firstly, the most obvious issue with allowing the UK and France to freely arm ‘rebels’ of their choosing inside Syria is that this policy is against all international law, and will, as proven already to be the case, continue to vastly exacerbate the growing death toll and displacement in Syria. As the head of arms control at Oxfam noted: “Transferring more weapons to Syria can only exacerbate a hellish scenario for civilians. If the UK and France are to live up to their own commitments – including those set out in the new arms trade treaty – they simply must not send weapons to Syria.”
In recent developments, the ISIS and Al Nusrah have joined hands. (Philip Greaves, Under the Disguise of The “Battle against Terrorism”: The U.S., Britain and France Support “Al Qaeda in Syria”, Global Research, May 28, 2013
The evidence amply confirms that while Russia is targeting ISIS strongholds in Syria, the Western military alliance is supporting the Islamic State terrorists.
The notion that the Paris attacks was an act of retribution and revenge directed against France is questionable and contradictory inasmuch as the evidence confirms that France has been channeling weapons to jihadist rebels in Syria including Al Nusrah and ISIS.
Concluding Remarks
On November 13, France was the victim of a carefully organized terrorist attack in different locations in the Paris metropolitan area, resulting in more than 140 deaths. The Islamic State was identified as the architect of this criminal undertaking.
What is intimated in the media reports of these tragic events is that the jihadists are attacking France.
But at same time, the countries which claim to be the victims of terrorism including France are involved through their intelligence services in supporting terrorist organizations in the Middle East. It’s called America’s “Global War on Terrorism”.
This contradiction has to be meaningfully addressed at the political level. The Global War on Terrorism is a lie which provides legitimacy to police state measures.
The state of emergency gives the police a green light to arrest on mere suspicion throughout France.
A telephone hotline is opened. Citizens  are invited to call and report anything which they consider suspicious.
Civil rights have been suspended.
Arbitrary arrests are occurring in Paris without warrant.
The attacks could potentially contribute to a new wave of Islamophobia.

Vluchtelingenstroom 22


Optimism prevails universally among those who are familiar with what is going on in Russia.
U.S. Vice President Al Gore. 1998

'Propaganda must be total,' aldus de Franse socioloog Jacques Ellul in zijn studie Propaganda. The Formation of Men's Attitudes. (1973). 'Propaganda cannot be satisfied with partial successes, for it does not tolerate discussion; by its very nature, it excludes contradiction and discussion.’ 

Dit is de belangrijkste reden waarom mainstream-collega’s van mij, die ik al heel lang persoonlijk aanspreek op hun corrupte houding, nooit publiekelijk met mij in discussie gaan. Mijn kritiek moet ophouden ‘to be vocal,’ en dissidenten moeten, net als destijds in de Sovjet Unie, ‘become negligible.’ Internet is de samizdat geworden van het Westen, in de zin die de Russische schrijver Vladimir Boekovski eraan  gaf: ‘Samizdat: ik schrijf zelf, ik redigeer zelf, ik censureer zelf, ik geef zelf uit, ik verspreid zelf en ik zit er zelf een straf voor uit.’ Ellul’s beschrijving verklaart waarom de mainstream-media probleemloos irrationeel kunnen zijn en ongestoord leugens kunnen verspreiden.  Binnen de propagandistische versie van de werkelijkheid kan bijvoorbeeld Geert Mak in zijn bestseller over de VS  onweersproken beweren dat Washington ‘decennialang als ordebewaker en politieagent [fungeerde],’ één van de talloze absurde kwalificaties die de Volkskrant-opiniemaker Paul Brill deed concluderen dat we hier te maken hebben met 

een monumentaal boek met prachtige passages en een schat aan informatie. [...] In dit boek heeft Mak minstens zoveel goede momenten als zijn illustere voorganger. En qua betrouwbaarheid wint hij het met gemak.

Ook Brill's werk onderstreept nog eens Jacques Ellul's stelling dat

Propaganda must be continuous and lasting –- continuous in that it must not leave any gaps, but must fill the citizen’s whole day and all his days; lasting in that it must function over a very long period of time. Propaganda tends to make the individual live in a separate world; he must not have outside points of reference. He must not be allowed a moment of meditation  or reflection in which to see himself vis-à-vis the propagandist, as happens when the propaganda is not continuous. At that moment the individual emerges from the grip of propaganda. Instead, successful propaganda will occupy every moment of the individual’s life… The individual must not be allowed to recover, to collect himself, to remain untouched by propaganda during any relatively long period, for propaganda is… based on slow, constant impregnation. It creates convictions and compliance through imperceptible influences that are effective only by continuous repetition.

Het reclame- en propaganda-bombardement in moderne massamaatschappijen is er allereerst om te voorkomen dat de burger de kans krijgt zelfstandig na te denken; het marginaliseren van de dissident doet de rest. Vandaar dat het individu permanent geconfronteerd wordt met dezelfde 'talking heads,' die via alle kanalen, in wisselend gezelschap telkens weer dezelfde propaganda verspreiden. Als de commerciële massamedia de boodschap maar lang genoeg blijven herhalen dan kan propaganda lange tijd effectief blijven. En zodra het gewenste effect verzwakt, wordt de aandacht verlegd naar een nieuw issue, een nieuwe vijand, een nieuwe bedreiging die de interne cohesie kan versterken van het van zichzelf en de mens vervreemd systeem. Jacques Ellul benadrukte over ‘the formation of men’s attitudes’ dat propaganda

must create a complete environment for the individual, one from which he never emerges. And to prevent him from finding external points of reference, it protects him by censoring everything that might come in from the outside.

Een voorbeeld is Paul Brill’s bewering dat de ‘Niet verlichte autocraat Poetin het aureool van vredesapostel niet [past].’Hij schreef dit naar aanleiding van een artikel dat de Russische president voor de New York Times schreef, waarin Poetin onder de aanhef A Plea for Caution From Russia zich direct tot de Amerikaanse bevolking richtte en een beroep deed op het internationaal recht, aangezien:

No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.


Dit was voor de Nederlandse mainstream-media de wereld op zijn kop. De volgens chef boeken Michel Krielaars 'genadeloze tsaar' Poetin die de prijzenswaardige Democraat Obama de les las, kon natuurlijk niet. De Amerikanen deugen en de Russen niet. Daar mag geen enkel misverstand over bestaan in het zwart-wit bewustzijn van de propagandist. Zijn 'waarheid' moet er elke keer weer in gehamerd worden. Dus liet op zijn beurt NRC's redacteur buitenland Hubert Smeets op hoge toon in  zijn krant weten:

Kortom, wie wil het laatste woord hebben bij een interventie in Syrie? Niemand minder dan Poetin zelf!

Met uitroepteken, om nog eens te benadrukken dat er een verdacht luchtje rond Poetin hangt, en dat deze voormalige oud 'KGB-er'alleen maar 'het laatste woord wil hebben.' Dat is ongehoord, want Obama dient het laatste woord te hebben. Punt. Uit. In de ideologische zienswijze van de Smeetsen is het volstrekt verwerpelijk dat Poetin niet meteen grootscheeps geweld wilde inzetten nadat sarin-gas was gebruikt in Syrië. Zonder enig 'onomstotelijk bewijs'  hadden Hubert Smeets en de rest van 'de vrije pers' al uitgemaakt dat de troepen van Assad de schuldigen waren en dat het internationaal recht geschonden kon worden via ‘een corrigerende tik’ (Brill) om zo opnieuw tot regime-change over te gaan.  Ook al zal dit geen enkele oplossing bieden, zoals de chaos in Irak, Afghanistan en Libië hebben aangetoond. Rationele argumenten tellen evenwel niet voor propagandisten, want het moet vandaag de dag toch genoegzaam bekend zijn hoe beschaafd en welwillend ‘het vredestichtende Westen,’ van Henk Hofland is. Het is allemaal niet nieuw. De werkwijze van de mainstream spreekbuizen van de macht is al vele decennia bekend. In zijn boek Propaganda uit 1928 zette de grondlegger van de Public Relations industrie, Edward Bernays, uiteend dat

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We hebben hier overigens niet te maken met een of andere malloot, maar met een adviseur van talloze Amerikaanse presidenten en de Amerikaanse plutocratie, een gezaghebbende man die door het tijdschrift Life werd uitgeroepen tot één van de honderd meest invloedrijke mensen uit de 20ste eeuw. Bernays stelde in zijn standaardwerk dat

If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible…

En noemde

this scientific technique of opinion-molding the ‘engineering of consent.’

Deze ideoloog was ervan overtuigd dat de rijken zich moesten concentreren op ‘regimenting the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments the bodies of its soldiers.’

In 1984 concludeerde de Amerikaanse historicus Marvin Olasky dat Bernays in het begin van de twintigste eeuw 'één van de eersten' was geweest 'to realize fully that American 20th Century liberalism would be increasingly based on social control posing as democracy, and would be desperate to learn all the opportunities for social control that it could.' En de Amerikaanse historicus professor Stewart Ewen kwam in zijn studie PR! A Social History of Spin tot de slotsom dat al vanaf de jaren twintig van de vorige eeuw 

the mass media, dominated by commercial interests, would provide subservient channels through which as broad public might be schooled to a corporate point of view.

In 1933, het jaar dat Hitler democratisch aan de macht kwam, schreef de al even invloedrijke  Amerikaanse geleerde Harold Lasswell in de Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences dat aangezien de 'masses are still captive to ignorance and superstition' de komst van de democratie 'compelled the development of a whole new technique of control, largely through propaganda.' Want, zo stelde Lasswell, propaganda is 'the one means of mass mobilisation which is cheaper than violence, bribery or other possible control techniques.' En om een hoog technologische massamaatschappij zo efficient mogelijk te laten draaien is propaganda de goedkoopste en veiligste manier voor de elite om de massa gehoorzaam te houden. Let wel, Lasswell was geen marginale figuur met wat afwijkende standpunten. Hij werd en wordt nog steeds alom bewonderd, zoals tevens blijkt uit wat de Nederlandse versie van Wikipedia over hem meldt:

Lasswell was één van de meest creatieve en invloedrijke wetenschappers van zijn tijd.Door gebruik te maken van een scala van psychologische en sociologische methoden in een discipline die tot dan toe alleen gebruik maakte van historische, juridische en filosofische methoden werd Harold Lasswell de grondlegger van de hedendaagse politieke wetenschap en met name de politieke psychologie. Ook op het gebied van de communicatiewetenschappen heeft hij met zijn communicatiemodel een grote invloed gehad. Op het gebied van beleidsstudies was het Harold Lasswell die de richting aangaf met de omschrijving waaraan deze (toen) nieuwe discipline moest voldoen (multi-disciplinair, probleem oplossend, expliciet normatief).

Als één van de belangrijkste adviseurs van de politieke en economische elite verklaarde Lasswell dat propaganda onmisbaar was in een democratie omdat 'men are often poor judges of their own interests' en dus bewerkt moeten worden om zaken te steunen die ze normaal niet zouden steunen. De commerciële massamedia spelen in dit proces een doorslaggevende rol, dat was en is nog steeds de algemene opvatting van de toonaangevende westerse intellectuele elite. Ook de invloedrijke Amerikaanse opiniemaker Walter Lippmann was uiterst sceptisch over de mogelijkheid van een ware democratie in een complexe moderne samenleving. Het gewone volk kon zijn eigen belangen niet zomaar gaan formuleren, want dan zou het een chaos worden. Het publiek mocht tijdens verkiezingen zijn stem geven aan - door coöptatie gekozen – beleidsbepalers en verder niets. Om dit proces mogelijk te maken en zo glad mogelijk te laten verlopen, moest de pers worden gebruikt. Zij was verantwoordelijk voor ‘het fabriceren van consensus… een zelfbewuste vaardigheid en standaard instrument van een regeringen die namens het volk besturen.’Herhaaldelijk benadrukte Lippmann het belang dat journalisten de juiste ‘reflexen’ ontwikkelen en voldoende ‘geconditioneerd’worden, waardoor ‘de aandacht van de media natuurlijk voor een belangrijk deel gestuurd’ kon worden ‘door de politieke machten,’ zoals de huidige hoofdredacteur van Vrij Nederland, Frits van Exter, ooit eens toegaf.

Deze opvattingen heersen van 'links' tot 'rechts,' zowel hier als elders, vroeger en nu. Wie naar macht streeft, wil zich doen gelden, zo leert de geschiedenis. De rest is propaganda. Robert Lansing, minister van Buitenlandse Zaken onder president Wilson, verklaarde eens dat de grote massa van de bevolking ‘onwetend en geestelijk onvolwaardig’ was en dus via de 'vrije pers' in de juiste richting gemanipuleerd moest worden. En ook Reinhold Niebuhr, hoogleraar Praktische Theologie uit New York, de ‘officiële theoloog van het establishment,’ waarschuwde voor ‘de domheid van de gemiddelde mens… het proletariaat,’ dat niet de rede volgde maar het geloof en daarom door de media gevoed moest worden met ‘emotioneel krachtige oversimplificaties,’ die dienden om de ‘noodzakelijke illusie,’ in stand te houden. De illusie dat de VS een echte democratie was, waarbij iedere burger in alle vrijheid de politieke koers van zijn land zou kunnen bepalen, en de pers 'onafhankelijk' is. Dezelfde illusie dus die Hofland, Brill, Smeets, Mak, Krielaars en de rest van de mainstream journalistiek in de polder verspreiden. Volgens Niebuhr moeten ‘de verantwoordelijkheden van de macht' het zelfbedrog 'onder ogen zien,’zodat de ‘noodzakelijke illusie’ kan blijven bestaan. Die was noodzakelijk wilde de economische en politieke elite ongestoord haar macht uitbreiden, wat in de praktijk neerkwam op het uitbuiten en onderdrukken van het ‘proletariaat’ dat wereldwijd ‘onwetend en geestelijk onvolwaardig’ was. Het volk moest door de media gedisciplineerd worden en gedirigeerd, anders zou de westerse beschaving ten onder gaan, zo vreesde Niebuhr, één van de door Obama en Mak geprezen geestelijke leiders. Het resultaat van deze strategie is niet uitgebleven, want dankzij de overvloed aan gelijkgeschakelde massamedia constateert John Berger dat

er grote delen van de… arbeiders en middenklasse bestaan die zich niet helder kunnen uitdrukken als gevolg van de grootscheepse culturele deprivatie. De middelen om datgene wat ze weten te vertalen in gedachten is hen ontnomen… Ze bezitten geen voorbeelden die ze kunnen volgen, waarbij woorden ervaringen duidelijk maken.

Feit is dat de 'chroniqueurs van het heden en verleden,' hun 'taak' het 'uitbannen van onwaarheid,' niet 'serieus genoeg [nemen],' terwijl ze wel degelijk beseffen dat '[o]p dit moment op Europees en mondiaal niveau een misvorming van de werkelijkheid plaats[vindt] die grote consequenties heeft,' aldus de schaamteloze bekentenis van opiniemaker Geert Mak. Zonder overdrijven kan gesteld worden dat de mainstream-journalistiek een verzamelplaats is van zowel oplichters als ideologische wensdenkers. Vanochtend stuitte ik bij het zoeken naar bepaalde informatie over Rusland op een willekeurig voorbeeld van laatst genoemden toen de naam van David Remnick opdook. Deze Amerikaanse journalist heeft een indrukwekkende achtergrond, 'graduated from Princeton University,' is getrouwd met 'reporter Esther Fein of The New York Times,' ontving de 'George Polk Award for excellence in journalism,' en kreeg in 1994 'the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction' voor Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, dat vaak genoemd wordt 'as an example of New Journalism. The book is equal parts history and eyewitness account, covering the collapse of the Soviet Union.' Remnick, die vloeiend Russisch spreekt, beweerde desalniettemin als correspondent van The Washington Post met grote stelligheid in 1997:

The Russian prospect over the coming years and decades is more promising than ever before in its history.

De destijds zo geprezen journalist Remnick werd beschouwd als 'a observer of great scope,' een deskundige die 'writes with enormous ease, and the humor and honesty of a modern de Tocqueville,' aldus de recensent van de Christian Science Monitor. Maar nog geen jaar later werd Rusland getroffen door een 'financiële crisis'  van ongekende omvang:

The financial collapse resulted in a political crisis as Yeltsin, with his domestic support evaporating, had to contend with an emboldened opposition in the parliament. A week later, on 23 August 1998, Yeltsin fired Kiriyenko and declared his intention of returning Chernomyrdin to office as the country slipped deeper into economic turmoil. Powerful business interests, fearing another round of reforms that might cause leading enterprises to fail, welcomed Kiriyenko's fall, as did the Communists… On 9 October 1998, Russia, which was also suffering from a poor harvest, appealed for international humanitarian aid, including food… Since the 1998 crisis, the Russian government has managed to keep social and political pressures under control, and this has played a vital role in bringing about the current recovery.

Belangrijk is te weten dat de voornaamste reden dat onder Poetin 'Russia bounced back from the August 1998 financial crash with surprising speed' het feit was

that world oil prices rapidly rose during 1999–2000 (just as falling energy prices on the world market helped to deepen Russia's financial troubles), so that Russia ran a large trade surplus in 1999 and 2000. Another reason is that domestic industries, such as food processing, had benefited from the devaluation, which caused a steep increase in the prices of imported goods.

De werkelijke reden waarom het Westen momenteel Rusland door een boycot probeert te breken, wordt hiermee ook verklaarbaar. De macht rond Poetin moet buitenspel worden gezet om de roofzucht van de neoliberale Russische 'oligarchen,' die het land onder Jeltsin leeg plunderden, weer ongestoord te kunnen hervatten. Het neoliberalisme kan geen tegenstand accepteren, wil het zich optimaal kunnen globaliseren. Het duldt geen grenzen en andere culturen dan die van het consumentisme. David Remnick's visie is kenmerkend voor dit fundamentalistische geloof. Als journalist bleek hij zo diep in de eigen neoliberale propaganda te geloven dat hij, net als nagenoeg de hele westerse politieke en economische elite, blind was geworden voor de werkelijkheid in de Russische Federatie. Een ander voorbeeld van deze stoornis is Leon Aron, de 'Director of Russian Studies' van de reactionaire denktank American Enterprise Institute. Nog in 2000 was hij er heilig van overtuigd dat over 'only a few years from now… what will be left standing is the towering edifice of Yeltsin's achievement.' Ondertussen waarschuwde de Verenigde Naties een jaar eerder voor een 'human crisis of monumental proportions' die 'is emerging in the former Soviet Union.' Ook de verbannen Russische auteur Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, die in 1970 de Nobelprijswinnaar Literatuur ontving 'for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature,' probeerde in 2000 na zijn terugkeer het Westen attent te maken op het feit dat:

As a result of the Yeltsin era, all the fundamental sectors of our state, economic, cultural, and moral life have been destroyed or looted. We live literally amid ruins, but we pretend to have a normal life… We heard that great reforms were being carried out in our country. They were false reforms because they left more than half of our country's people in poverty… What does it mean to continue these reforms? Will we continue looting and destroying Russia until nothing is left? 

Desondanks drong de realiteit niet door tot de ideologisch gehersenspoelde westerse 'politiek-literaire elite' in de polder, tot wie Henk Hofland, Geert Mak, Michel Krielaars, Hubert Smeets etc. zichzelf rekenen. Niet in staat kritisch te denken, zijn ze ook niet geïnteresseerd in het werk van anderen die dit wel kunnen. De Amerikaan Stephen F. Cohen, hoogleraar 'Russian Studies and History at New York University and Professor of Politics Emeritus at Princeton University, where for many years he was also director of the Russian Studies Program,' constateerde in zijn studie Failed Crusade. America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia (2001)

America's Russia-watchers, with only a few exceptions, committed malpractice throughout the 1990s. The results have undermined our values and jeopardized our nation's security.

    When the Soviet Union ended in 1991, four American professions laid claim to special expertise on post-Communist Russia: government policymakers, economic and financial advisers, journalists, and scholars. Mainstays of what was known as the 'Washington Consensus,' Russia specialists in all those occupations professed to know the cure for what ailed their subject, gave regular assurances about the ongoing treatment, and, while noting occasional relapses, predicted a full recovery. In reality, their prescriptions, reports, and prognoses were fundamentally and predictably wrong.

Dit laatste had mij tien jaar eerder de Russische econoom Kollontai uiteen gezet, toen ik hem in 1991 in Moskou interviewde voor een serie televisie-documentaires die de Humanistische Omroep destijds uitzond.  Volgens hem was het onmogelijk om zonder grote schade aan te richten een falend communistisch systeem via een shocktherapie in een neoliberale heilstaat te veranderen. Maar voor dit soort 'doemdenken' had 'de vrije pers' geen belangstelling. Cohen schreef daarover:

We need to recall here, however, that their grand policy was nothing less than missionary — a virtual crusade to transform post-Communist Russia into some facsimile of the American democratic and capitalist system. Moreover, it was not only an official project; it captivated investors, journalists, and scholars as well.

En aldus kon 'The Crusade for the 'Russia We Want' ongehinderd door feiten doorgaan. Professor Stephen Cohen:

The idea that the United States might one day remake Russia in its own image, or at least 'do their thinking for them,' originated after World War II among extreme advocates of the forty-year Cold War. By 1992, the first post-Soviet year and last year of the Bush administration, it had reemerged in the American mainstream. In April, for instance, a special gathering of government, business, media, and academic representatives recommended that the United States and its allies 'deeply and swiftly engage themselves in the process of transforming the political and economic orders of these former Soviet republics.' A policymaker-turned-academic was more specific: 'The West should create an elite corps of experts to live in the former Soviet Union and help officials there run government and business.'

    But it was the Clinton administration that turned the missionary impulse into an official crusade—though, it should be emphasized, with enthusiastic bipartisan support in Congress. Almost immediately after President Bill Clinton's inauguration in January 1993, his experts were privately discussing 'how best to reform Russia' and formulating a policy of American tutelage. The 'whole policy' that emerged, as a State Department official later explained, was 'aimed at the domestic transformation of Russia.' In effect, the United States was to teach ex-Communist Russia how to become a capitalist and democratic country and oversee the process of conversion known as a 'transition.' Certainly, Russia was not to be trusted to find its own kinds of change, lest it wander off, as a media enthusiast of the crusade warned, on 'a strange, ambivalent path of its own confused devising.'

    The lessons to be taught were simple but stern. Economic reform meant 'shock therapy' and tight-fisted monetarism, especially severe budgetary austerity, an end to Soviet-era consumer and welfare subsidies, wholesale privatization of Russian state enterprises and other assets, opening the country's markets to foreign producers, and a minimal role for the government. Political reform came to mean little more than fulsome support for President Boris Yeltsin because, top Clinton officials explained, 'Yeltsin represents the direction toward the kind of Russia we want.' In addition to free instructions, which meant 'dictating national economic policy,' the administration promised to help finance the transition, primarily through loans by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), unless Russia 'fails to meet our conditions.'


    In that spirit, legions of American political missionaries and evangelists, usually called 'advisers,' spread across Russia in the early and mid-1990s. Funded by the U.S. government, ideological organizations, foundations, and educational institutions, they encamped wherever the 'Russia we want' might be proselytized, from political movements, trade unions, media, and schools to Moscow offices of the Russian government itself. Among other missionary deeds, U.S. citizens gave money to favored Russian politicians, instructed ministers, drafted legislation and presidential decrees, underwrote textbooks, and served at Yeltsin's reelection headquarters in 1996.

    For the sake of appearances, all of this had to be done, of course, with some diplomacy. Rarely if ever was the Clinton administration as bluntly missionary as the former national security adviser (Zbigniew Brzezinski in Foreign Affairs. svh) who announced that Russia's 'economic and even political destiny... is now increasingly passing into de facto Western receivership.' Or as categorical as the anonymous programmatic letter that circulated in Washington in 1993: 'The key to [Russia's] democratic recovery is no longer in its hand. It is in ours.' Instead, Clinton officials periodically made a special point of declaring (usually when the crusade was going badly), 'Russians themselves have to decide. We can't do it for them.'

    But that was not how the administration really thought or made policy, as evidenced, to take only a few random examples, by its unrelenting insistence on 'our conditions'; by the U.S. ambassador's boast in 1996 that 'without our leadership ... we would see a considerably different Russia today'; and by the testimony of a diplomatic insider that Vice President Al Gore, who played a leading role in the policy, 'undertook to reinvent Russia.' Indeed, as late as 1999, one of the crusade's chief architects was still extolling it: 'Our policy toward Russia must be that of a lighthouse.... They can locate themselves against this light.'

    By then, the crusade had long since crashed on the rocks of Russian reality. (One direct result was more anti-Americanism than I had personally ever observed in forty years of studying and visiting Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.)

Rekening houdend met de Russische realiteit besloot Vladimir Poetin na zijn aantreden de rooftocht van Russische oligarchen aan te pakken. Het was het einde van het tijdperk Jeltsin en zijn neoliberale 'hervormers.' Gangsters als de door Hubert Smeets zo bewonderde Michail Chodorkovski, één van de zogeheten 'zeven bankiers,' moesten zich voortaan aanpassen of een veilig heenkomen zoeken. Meer de volgende keer.