Putin and the Art of Political Fantasy : Walter Laqueur See note please

http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/5889/full

http://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2014/12/the-paranoid-style-in-russian-politics/

Walter Laqueur was born in 1921- Please visit http://www.laqueur.net/index2.php?r=4 for a list of his outstanding books.

For some considerable time the element of fantasy in Russian political discourse has been strong (and growing stronger), not only at the popular level but in official statements. It has grown in intensity and quantity since the spring of 2014 with the events in Crimea and Ukraine. How to explain this? Where did it originate and how important is it in the general context of the new “Russian doctrine”? Extreme, even fanatical statements directed against the “enemy” can be found at almost all times in many countries — there is nothing specifically Russian about it. But there are limits even to absurdity and if these limits are disregarded, how to explain it?

Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda and an accomplished practitioner in this genre, is a prime example of the deliberate fabrication of falsehoods. The police chief in Berlin in the years just before the Nazi takeover was a Jew named Bernhard Weiss, a former army officer and a career official with moderate views. Goebbels launched an all-out campaign against him, turning him into a demonic figure, highly dangerous, incredibly cunning and devious, aiming to destroy everything in his way. When friends pointed out to Goebbels that Weiss (whom he had nicknamed Isidor) was a perfectly harmless bureaucrat, he laughed and said: “Do you think I am not aware of this?”

This is a typical example of the cynical approach. But not all statements, ideas and theories which are manifestly absurd are deliberately fabricated and cynically exploited as part of a wider propaganda campaign. Some, as in contemporary Russia, are genuinely believed for reasons that have been insufficiently investigated. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were a product of deliberate fabrication and the same is true of the “doctors’ plot” in Stalin’s final year. But both the Protocols and the story of the Jewish “killer doctors” were believed by many, and the question of why they were so widely believed is not easy to answer.

There is a widespread tendency (again not specifically Russian and not invented there) to believe in occult, hidden forces which are the real shakers and movers in world politics, whereas those about whom we read and hear in the media are merely their puppets. Some Russian ideologues believe (or pretend to believe) that the real struggle in world politics is between two parties — the Rothschild party and the followers of the Rockefellers. Believers in contemporary conspiracy theories generally have only a dim idea of where the real big money is found. According to the more learned followers of Lyndon LaRouche, for instance, it is a bitter fight between factions on a higher philosophical level — the Aristotelians and the Neo-Platonists. But it is not made clear where they keep their money — certainly not in present-day Greece. There has been in recent years a close cooperation between the Russian extreme Right and the LaRouchans; a recent example is Sergei Glazyev’s “On Eurofascism” in Executive Intelligence Review, a LaRouche organ.

PATRICK O’DONNELL:BEYOND VALOR: REMEMBER THE MEN WHO TURNED BACK HITLER’S LAST OFFENSIVE 70 YEARS AGO

Seventy years ago this week, Hitler launched his last great offensive of World War II. The only thing standing in his way was a group of men like Private First Class Earnest Williams, a paratrooper from the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion.

In a largely forgotten chapter of American history, the 509th and two other independent, “bastard” units — the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion and the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team — were hastily attached to the legendary 82nd Airborne Division and trucked in to plug the holes in the northern shoulder of the Bulge.

It was six months after the Allies’ triumphant D-Day landing. The war in Europe seemed to be slowly grinding to an end.

But Hitler wasn’t ready to surrender.

On December 16, 1944, he made his last big gamble, sending tens of thousands of his best troops toward the Meuse River to retake the Belgian port city of Antwerp and drive a wedge between the British and American armies. It was the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, a month-long brutal conflict that involved more than a million men from each side. Before it was all over, the United States had lost more than 80,000 killed, wounded, taken prisoner, or missing.

The attack largely caught the Allies unaware. With few reserves available to stem the massive onslaught, they rushed U.S. paratroopers into the gaps in the line in a desperate attempt to hold back the German tide.

THE 509TH HOLDS THE LINE
In a small Belgian crossroads town called Sadzot, German troops had found and were exploiting a hole in the Allied lines. In a daring nighttime raid, the 509th attacked and drove elite Waffen-SS troops from the town, killing 30 and taking another 33 prisoner.

JILLIAN KAY MELCHIOR: HOW ANDREW CUOMO WANTS TO IMPOVERISH NEW YORKERS BY BANNING FRACKING

His Department of Health banned fracking today, blocking economic growth over specious worries.

Thanks to an announcement from the state Department of Health today, New Yorkers will miss out on a multi-billion-dollar industry that has made other states rich.

The decision, a ban on fracking, has little to do with sound science and much more to do with the political cowardice of New York’s leaders, the politicization of state agencies, and the political activism of radical environmentalists.

The story begins about six years ago, when Governor David Paterson decided to refer a politically controversial decision about fracking to state agencies, ordering a study while instituting a de facto fracking ban. His successor, Governor Andrew Cuomo, also washed his hands of the hard call; at today’s news conference, Cuomo said his commissioners had made the decision, adding, “I don’t think I even have a role here.”

The Department of Health justified its decision to ban fracking with a long-anticipated report on the practice’s public-health effects, but there’s reason to question the objectivity of this study.

In fact, the first draft of the environmental-conservation report inconveniently concluded that New York should allow fracking to proceed — so Governor Paterson demanded a do-over. Under intense environmental lobbying, and after years of delay, the new report offers a more palatable conclusion for a Democratic governor: that the risk to public health is just too great to allow fracking in New York.

THE OBAMAS: RACE HUCKSTERS

Barack Obama: ‘I’ve been mistaken for a valet and a waiter’
Michelle Obama: ‘I’ve been asked to grab items from a shelf at Target’

The United States’ first African-American president, Barack Obama, and the First Lady, Michelle Obama, have revealed that they too have been a victim of racial biases.

Speaking to People magazine on Wednesday (17 December), the US President said: “There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys.”
“There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys.”
– Barack Obama

First Lady, Michelle Obama, joined in the conversation by recalling her own experience at a Target store recently, when she was asked by a shopper to take something down from a shelf.

“I think people forget that we’ve lived in the White House for six years. Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” said Michelle Obama.

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”

Obama and Cuba: The Triumph of Ideology over U.S. National Interests Obama’s Moves on Cuba Constitute a Gift to the Castro Regime. By Elliott Abrams

The American Left has loathed the embargo and overlooked all of Castro’s repressive actions since the 1960s. They have blamed the U.S.–Cuba deadlock entirely on the United States and have sought the end of the embargo whenever a Democrat was in the White House. Under Johnson, Carter, and Clinton they did not get their way; that had to await Obama.

When the Soviet Union fell, the Castro regime was in dire straits. It survived through sheer repression — until it was sustained by Venezuelan oil money sent by Hugo Chávez. Today Chávez is dead, oil is under $60 a barrel, and Venezuela is reeling. Who will bail Castro out this time? Now we have the answer: Barack Obama.

Put aside the prisoner exchange, which one can be for or against and still decry the rest of Obama’s moves today. It’s clear that Obama told the Cubans they had to let Alan Gross out before he could make the rest of his changes — and told them he would undertake those changes immediately. So the Castros not only get diplomatic recognition and a big financial lift — more trade, more tourism, more remittances to Cubans from family members in the U.S., and from which the regime can take a big cut — but they get it all for nothing. That is, the prisoner trade (whether smart or dumb) was a bargained-for exchange. They got three, we got two. All the rest in the Obama policy changes is simply a gift to the regime. The Castros made no promises at all to reduce oppression, allow freedom of speech or assembly, or make any political reforms or foreign-policy adjustments.

The Obama White House conducted these negotiations itself, with no meddling from the State Department. The centralization of all activity in the White House continues, and in this case the American negotiator was Ben Rhodes. Rhodes is a speechwriter with a graduate degree (M.F.A.) in creative writing, so one might wonder if he struck the hardest bargain possible. But of course those would not have been his instructions anyway: The president didn’t want a hard bargain. He wanted to destroy 50 years of American policy toward the Castro regime.

EU Backs Palestinian Dictatorship by Khaled Abu Toameh

These European parliaments are also turning a blind eye to the fact that, under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, there is no respect for the rule of law, free speech, transparency or accountability.

These Western parliamentarians are in fact acting against the interests of the Palestinians, who are clearly not hoping for another corrupt dictatorship in the Arab world.

“The situation in Palestine does not conform at all with democracy or the rule of law… Wake up and see the loss of rights, law and security.” — Freih Abu Medein, former Palestinian Authority Justice Minister.

“Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] wants to concentrate all authorities in his hands and the hand of his loyalists. He’s acting in a dictatorial way and wants to be in control of everything, especially the finances.” — Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary General of the PLO.

By turning a blind eye to human rights violations, as well as assaults on freedom of expression, the judiciary and the parliamentary system in the Palestinian territories, Western parliaments are paving the way for a creation of a rogue state called Palestine.

European parliaments that are rushing to recognize a Palestinian state are ignoring the fact that the Palestinians have been without a functioning parliament for the past seven years.

The Palestinian parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council [PLC], has been paralyzed since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control over the Gaza Strip and expelled the Palestinian Authority [PA].

Dem Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ): Obama ‘Vindicated the Brutal Behavior of Cuban Government’ in Deal to Free Alan Gross By Bridget Johnson

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said President Obama has “vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government” by swapping for the release of longtime U.S. hostage Alan Gross.

USAID subcontractor Alan Gross recently marked the fifth anniversary of his arrest in Cuba.

Gross had wrapped up work on a project to increase Internet access and connectivity at Cuban synagogues when he was seized the night before he was to return home. He spent 14 months behind bars before any charges were filed, then in March 2011 was quickly tried and convicted of “acts against the independence or territorial integrity of the state” for distributing cell phones and other communications equipment as part of the USAID project.

He was sentenced to 15 years behind bars. Earlier this year he completed a nine-day hunger strike, telling his attorney in May that his 65th birthday would be the last he spends in prison, one way or another.

In June, his wife Judy Gross pleaded with President Obama “to do everything in his power to end this nightmare and bring Alan home from Cuba now.”

The three remaining members of the Cuban five were negotiated for what senior administration officials said was a U.S. intelligence asset who had been held by Cuba for 20 years; they said they asset will not be identified. They said Gross was separately release on “humanitarian grounds.”

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who has warned of Obama’s unilateral action to loosen restrictions on Cuba, isn’t buying it.

“Let’s be clear, this was not a ‘humanitarian’ act by the Castro regime,” Menendez said. “It was a swap of convicted spies for an innocent American.”

HUMBERT FONTOVA SUMS UP FIDEL CASTRO IN 2006- “MONSTER!”

This is the first in a series of articles we are preparing on “Left-wing Monsters” and that will include Che Guevara, Robert Mugabe, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Lenin etc. The entire series will be permanently posted on DiscoverTheNetworks.org — The Editors.
Fidel Castro entered Havana on January 8, 1959, to wild acclaim from all quarters. Most Cubans were jubilant; Castro was promising an end to the corrupt governments that had plagued Cuba since independence. Far from any Communism, Castro was promising a revolution “as green as Cuba’s palm trees!” with national elections in three months. Private property would be secure, a free press guaranteed, friendly relations with the U.S. were essential.

“Fidel esta es tu casa!” read impromptu signs that were springing up across the front of thousands of Cuban homes, including mansions, humble country shacks and everything in between.

The New York Times had been singing Castro’s praises since the first interview with him as a rebel in February 1957. By now most of the international press had joined the cheerleading. Jack Paar never treated a guest on his Tonight Show as deferentially as he treated honored guest Fidel Castro. Ed Sullivan hailed Castro as “Cuba’s George Washington.” Retired president Harry Truman called Castro a “good young man trying to do what’s best for Cuba. We should extend him a hand.” The U.S. actually accorded diplomatic recognition to Castro’s government more quickly than it had recognized Batista’s in 1952. In fact, the promptness of this U.S. recognition set a record for recognition of a Latin American government. Usually the process took weeks; for Castro, it took mere days.

Yet within three months of his entry into Havana, Castro’s firing squads had murdered an estimated 600-1,100 men and boys, and Cuba’s jails held ten times the number of political prisoners as under Fulgencio Batista, who Castro overthrew with claims to “liberating” Cuba.

Barely a year in power, Castro was referring to the U.S. as “a vulture preying on humanity!” And most of Cuba’s newspapers and TV stations (Cuba had more TVs per capita at the time than Germany, Canada or France) were under government control, to better serve “the people.” Six months later he confiscated all U.S. properties on the Island, 5,911 businesses worth $2 billion worth, along with most property and businesses owned by Cubans.

On January 3, 1961, outgoing President Eisenhower finally declared, “there’s a limit to what the United States in self-respect can endure. That limit has been reached.” He broke diplomatic relations with Cuba. During the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961, Castro finally declared his revolution “Socialist,” and in December of that year he declared himself “a lifelong Marxist-Leninist!” Cuba was now officially Communist.

Obama’s Revolution in America — on The Glazov Gang

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/frontpagemag-com/obamas-revolution-in-america-on-the-glazov-gang/

This week’s Glazov Gang was guest-hosted by Michael Finch, the president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He was joined by Morgan Brittany, Conservative TV and Movie Star, Nonie Darwish, author of “The Devil We Don’t Know” and Mell Flynn, the president of Hollywood Congress of Republicans.

The Gang gathered to discuss Obama’s Revolution in America, analyzing how the Radical-in-Chief is tearing the foundations of the country down from every angle (starts at the 9:30 mark). The episode also focused on Feinstein’s Destructive Torture Charade, Ferguson and an Arsonist-in-Chief, and much, much more:

Obama’s Worst Lie About his Dirty Castro Deal is in his First Sentence: Daniel Greenfield

Usually you have to get at least two sentences into an Obama speech to find a whopper so big that McDonald’s wouldn’t be able to figure out what to charge for it. Not this time. Instead the worst lie in Obama’s Cuba speech was in his very first sentence.

“Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba,” Obama said.

No, nope. Still no.

Cuban is run by the Castro thugs. There is no democratically elected government. Obama did not make a deal with the elected representatives of the Cuban people.

He made a deal with the Castro crime family.

The people of Cuba have no say in how they live. They have no say in how they are governed. They have no say in their relationship with the United States except to flee by boat. Which many of them have done.

That opening sentence is the slimiest lie in Obama’s series of lies about his dirty deal with the Castros. It’s the slimiest lie because with it Obama makes the explicitly false claim that Raul Castro represents the Cuban people.

It’s an endorsement of the Communist dictatorship.