Imagine that you are a large country and that you want to destabilize an adversarial government.
What tactics would you employ aside from direct invasion?
It’s not that hard to figure out a basic plan.
Step 1: Paint that government as bad (anti-democratic, for example).
Step 2: Support the opposition and give them positive media coverage (democratic, for example). Perhaps go as far as sending them weapons.
Step 3: If and when the enemy government suppresses the opposition, stage, along with your allies, an “international” outcry and call it “the international consensus”.
This is hybrid warfare.
The added bonus, of course, is that when that adversarial government blames you, then you can always claim that they’re crazy.
“The president is actually a crazy blood-thirty dictator!”
After all, isn’t it interesting that all “dictators” are presented as crazy? You’d think that there’d be at least one “dictator” who was at least a little in touch with reality. Stalin? Crazy. Castro? Crazy. Mao? Crazy. Gaddafi? Crazy. Khomeini? Crazy. Khamenei? Crazy. Saddam, after the Gulf War? Crazy.
Of course, the real fuckers (the ones supported by the West) are all hailed as being good leaders. Suharto? Strong, sensible. King Salman? Reformer, reasonable. Saddam, before the Gulf War? Clever, clear-headed.
The hypocrisy is mind-blowing.
Anyway, back to the point. This isn’t a conspiracy. This is logic.
After years and years of these repeated representations of the opposition as good and the government as bad, something inevitably starts to stick. After all, here we are in 2018 and where are the “enormous” protests in Venezuela? They’re gone.
But we all know that the next time that protests take place in Venezuela, they’ll revive the ghosts of 2017. No matter the situation, We$tern conservatives and liberals alike will cry out for the Venezuelans. Not for their suffering under imperialism, but for their apparent need to be rescued by imperialism.
And the conservatives and liberals will demonstrate that there is really no difference between them and they’ll say, “Remember 2017? Remember that one time? Remember?”
After all, isn’t this what happens in Iran?
Every time there is a protest, the West is quick to stump for a revival of the Green Movement of 2009. Every protest (that gets media coverage) is an “anti-government” protest, of course. Is that why the striking Bazaar shopkeepers (who aren’t We$tern-backed liberals) barely get any media coverage?
And don’t Iranian government officials sound crazy when they accuse the U.$. of supporting the liberal protests?
This the history of Iran. Denials from the Amerikkkans and the British go back to Operation Ajax in 1953 and the overthrow of Muhammad Mossadegh, the democratically-elected Prime Minister and his replacement with a brutal Amerikkkan puppet dictator – the Shah.
But Ayatollah Khamenei has a big white beard and wears a turban, so he must be insane, right?
The blueprint is so obvious that it barely requires discussion. And this is the key: for years, the U.$. denied Operation Ajax – chalking it up to a conspiracy theory as well. It was only recently (more than half a century after the fact) that it finally admitted to gutting Iranian democracy and installing a imperialist tyrant.
As it was in 1953 in Iran and 2018 in Nicaragua, the West is the master of Hybrid Warfare. Of course, it’s a tactic used by everyone, including the junior imperial partners, Russia and China. And it’s a tactic that everyone uses, because it works.
The propaganda is so effective that you don’t even realize that it’s there. The propaganda is so effective that the people making it don’t even realize that they’re making it.
It’s worth repeating – there is no conspiracy here. It doesn’t take any conspiracy to point at the facts. The CIA chief admitted to trying to destroy Venezuela last year.
And there’s no big media conspiracy here either. Journalists and reporters aren’t intentionally lying or manipulating the truth (usually). They’re simply following rational ideological positions. Anyone can go pick up a copy of “Manufacturing Consent” at the library and figure that out fairly quickly.
Journalists in Klanada and Amerikkka often continue to parrot the apparent threat by the Iranian government that they were going to “wipe I$rael off the map”. On the one hand, these are journalists who don’t speak Farsi, of course. On the other hand, in their worldview, it makes sense that Khamenei or Ahmadinejad would say that.
But following these ideological positions, journalists mistranslate and distort facts.
But again, news stories that sensationalize the apparently “crazy” statements of the Iranian leadership just act as another drop in the bucket. Another drop towards war against Iran.
And when I$rael bombs Iranians in another country, everyone is quick to justify it. It’s a whole web of bullshit, legitimized slowly and steadily over a long period of time. Critical thinking is replaced by blind hatred for a perceived enemy. People become willing to believe anything
The propaganda works and, therefore, repeats itself.
Every once in a while on social media or forums like Reddit, a meme appears that shows women in Iran before the Revolution and women in Iran after the Revolution. Of course, the meme never shows regular women before the Revolution. Instead, it focuses on the glamorous, mini-skirted upper-class party-goers.
The argument of the meme goes something like this: before the Iranian Revolution, women were free to wear whatever they liked, then Ayatollah Khomeini made everyone wear hijabs, because Islam = bad and the Iranian government is repressive.
The CIA doesn’t need to post this meme on Reddit or Facebook (although it might be doing that), because regular Euro-Amerikkkan people are ready and willing to attack Iran (and all the other countries challenging We$tern hegemony).
Of course, the idea that Iranian women are worse off completely ignores how the Iranian government has actually facilitated women in the public space, how the lives of regular Iranian women have improved dramatically since the Revolution, how middle-class and upper-class protestors wore hijab during the Revolution as a sign of solidarity with regular women, or how literacy rates for women jumped from 29% in 1976 to 87% in 2005.
And this narrative, most important, also ignores We$tern patriarchy and, more specifically, We$tern patriarchy directed at Iranian women and what they wear.
Academics, journalists, and politicians are overly willing to believe nonsense, provided that it aligns with they’re preconceived notions about the world. This was demonstrated through the extraordinary claim recently that China has detained over a million Uyghurs and is housing them in re-education camps, where they are being forced to renounce Islam and accept the Communist Party as a symbol of ideal crimson infallibility.
Of course, in the end, this turned out to be nonsense. China is doing no such thing. The UN never said that China was doing such a thing, but reporters pounced on the story for its liberal sex appeal.
Were the reporters intentionally lying? Obviously not. They were simply reporting information that seemed plausible to them, despite the fact that there was no evidence and the sources were unreliable.
But, as any journalist will tell you, retractions don’t matter. People don’t remember the corrections to the lies.
So you can write a sensational headline that’s full of shit and then back-track later. The ghosts of the headlines haunt every occasion.
Journalism has already served its necessary role in the system of hybrid warfare. And you don’t even need to back-track later, if you can celebrate hybrid warfare itself!
For example, when President Nazi-Clown plans a coup in Venezuela, the New York Times is quick to write about it with nice imperialistic undertones – the problem with a coup is that it could backfire! And, after reading any other New York Times article about Venezuela, any reader can put two and two together.
Looking around the world today, the signs of hybrid warfare are everywhere. The color revolutions in the Post-Soviet Republics (Ukraine, Georgia, etc.), the instability in the Middle East (Syria, Iran, etc.), and the attempt to dismantle the Pink Tide in Latin America (Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc.) demonstrate this most clearly.
Imperialism has evolved. Today, people embrace the nice, trendy language of the academy: “The Global North is embracing neoliberalism, which marginalizes people in the Global South blah blah blah.” No one wants to talk about imperialism or oppression. No one wants to utter the dreaded verbatim of the Cold War: “The First World” or “The Third World”. This new language masks a stark reality, as far as I can tell.
Therefore, this blog, I can promise you, will continue to use these terms as long as they remain applicable.
The First World oppresses and exploits the Third World through imperialism.
And that is something we must fight.
In the end, there’s one country that needs regime change most. Take it away, Howard:
Russia is a bad, bad place. Russia is bad. Russia does bad things. Russia, a bad country, is full of bad stuff.
The government of Russia is bad. The president of Russia is bad. Vladimir Putin is a bad man. Russia is bad. Everything there is bad.
Because of Russia, which is bad, Donald Trump is the president, which is bad.
Donald Trump is bad, bad, bad.
The American president is supposed to be good, because the American people vote for the president, which is good.
The American people are good. Democracy is good. But the American president is bad. That’s because of Russia, which is bad. After all, Russia is bad. If Russia wasn’t bad, America wouldn’t have a bad president.
But Russia is bad.
Vladimir Putin, who is bad, is a dictator, which is bad. He is a dictator, because he is bad. He is a dictator, which is bad, even though Russians voted for him, which is bad. Russians are bad. Russia is a bad, bad place.
The American government is still good, but the president is bad. It’s bad.
Russia hacked, which is bad, the elections, which are good.
Hacking is bad. Computers are bad. Elections are good, but Facebook is bad. Vladimir Putin, who is bad, ordered Russian hackers, who are bad, to hack the American elections, which are good. There is a lot of evidence, which is good, but we can’t share it with you yet, which is bad.
Robert Mueller is good. Paul Manafort is bad.
Hillary Clinton is good. Julian Assange is bad.
George W. Bush is good. Donald J. Trump is bad.
America = good.
Russia = bad.
What are we to do when “democracy” is the signifier and “imperialism” is the signified?
In Nicaragua the past few months was plagued by protests. The “Nicaraguan people” were protesting for “democratic reforms” and “the United States” was “deeply concerned about… the violence perpetuated by security forces against demonstrators.” Daniel “I-used-to-be-super-cool” Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, was facing an onslaught of slanderous attacks at the bidding of the Amerikkkan state. But the attacks continue.
Hell, even Noam “My-politics-are-unreliable” Chomsky jumped on board. This is the man who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Sandinistas against imperialism not that long ago.
The Huffington Post warns us that “we may be witnessing the rise of fascism in Nicaragua.”
Remember when there really was fascism in Nicaragua? For decades, the country was ruled by the Somoza family dictatorship as a U.$. client state. Following the revolution in 1979, the Sandinistas came to power and returned Nicaragua to the people.
Like all good Marxist-Leninist governments, the Sandinistas completely reformed the country – increasing literacy, access to healthcare, women’s rights, nationalizing industries, and improving housing, education, and working conditions for everyone.
After Ronald “I’m-a-huge-fucking-piece-of-shit” Reagan was elected president by the Amerikkkan people, his regime set out on funding paramilitaries to destroy Nicaragua. The Contras, U.$.-backed terrorists, stalked throughout the country and sowed chaos, murdering men, women, and children with unbelievable savagery.
Ortega lost the rigged elections of 1990 and the Sandinista revolution was dismantled. This is what happens when you hold elections in a country that the U.$. wants to control, but that’s neither here nor there.
Violeta “I’m-an-anti-feminist-asshole” Chamorro became the head of state and instituted Amerikkkan shock therapy, which Wikipedia summarizes thus:
The Chamorro years initiated a period of significant economic and social decline for Nicaragua. From 1990 to 2001, the country fell from 60th to 116th in the world in terms of human development, and has become the poorest of America after Haiti, according to United Nations Development Programme.
But, of course, she was the first elected female head of state in Latin America, so liberals should just love her, right?
In 2006, Ortega ran again and narrowly won to join our comrades in the Pink Tide: Chavez, Correa, Lula, Morales, Zelaya, Mujica, Kirchner, and the list goes on and on…
Of course, by this time, Ortega had made his peace with capitalism (unfortunately). Since 2006, Ortega has simply mimicked much of Chavez’s 21st Century Socialism – food programs, labor programs, social security.
Is it really a coincidence that the protests in Nicaragua in 2018 are so similar to the protests in Venezuela in 2017?
“Student Protests” & (Amerikkkan-backed) “democracy” being “repressed” by “an authoritarian leader” – it’s the same old script.
Interestingly, these new rounds of protests started in April, when the government planned to cut social security and pensions.
You mean the social security and pensions that they created?
That’s exactly what I mean.
And installing some pro-Amerikkkan leader will help them get better social security and pensions!?
Obviously not, dear reader.
But this is all a game, of course.
Some people, such as Jeffrey “Super-wonderful-academic” Gould, are insisting that those of us on the left need to recognize that “Daniel Ortega of today is not the Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista Revolution“, as published in the liberal-left pages of Jacobin.
Gould’s argument is directed at “a segment of the international left whose hatred of US imperialism has affected their capacity for critical thought.”
“Critical thought” here apparently means openly criticizing Ortega’s government and siding with an opposition that, according to Gould, “includes rightists, social democrats, and anarchists, and undoubtedly receives some support from some very dark corners of the hemisphere.”
Admittedly, anti-imperialists do have a hatred of U.$. imperialism, although it seems to me that the lack of critical thought here is on the part of these pseudo-leftists who are eager to write damning texts about leftist governments in Euro-Amerikkkan journals and blogs primarily written for people in imperialist countries (shout-out to this blog!).
Here’s some critical thought: if we accept that there is an Amerikkkan hand here (which Gould admits), then we ought to side with Ortega against imperialism. Not because Ortega does everything perfectly or because Nicaragua is some utopia, but because imperialism is the primary contradiction. Imperialism is not the solution.
If there is “regime change” in Nicaragua, the situation won’t get better – it will get much, much worse!
Just as it did, by the way, in 1990.
This is the reason that real leftists need to take a step back and analyze the situation before they go around huffing and puffing about “the increasingly authoritarian tendencies of the Ortega administration”.
The international left needs to engage in some real critical thinking, because otherwise this strain of Amerikkkan liberalism is going to continue to establish barricades (like the protestors) to choke out small, poor, leftist countries and replace them with Western-backed regimes.
The United $tates is clearly involved in the attempt here to destabilize Nicaragua, everyone can see that.
Despite Ortega’s willingness to play ball, it isn’t enough (it’s never enough). There are good reasons for leftists to be dissatisfied with Ortega, but the answer is never to side with Amerikkkan fascists dressed up as democrats.
The Nicaraguan people know this and that’s why they came out in huge numbers in the middle of July to celebrate the anniversary of the revolution. What was aptly called a “coup attempt” was soundly defeated, the protests were quelled, and things have already returned to normalcy.
The Nicaraguan people won’t let Daniel be thrown in the lion’s den. We shouldn’t either.
Imran Khan is set to become the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, following the elections that placed his party in dominance over the Majlis-e-Shura. Although the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (The Pakistan Movement for Justice) will have to form a coalition, it is likely to maneuver into place fairly quickly. Khan is hoping to build the “Naya Pakistan” (“New Pakistan”) that has become the slogan of his campaign.
Already, the propaganda machines in the West are lamenting his victory. With wonderful headlines, such as: “Pakistan’s likely next leader is a Taliban sympathizer” and “Imran Khan near victory in Pakistan but some ask if he is playing fair“, it is clear that Amerikkka is dissatisfied.
Liberal analysts at places like the Diplomat have followed suit with pieces like: “Why the Pakistan Army is Vying to Influence the General Elections” (like that doesn’t happen anywhere else) and “Imran Khan’s Victory in Pakistan: An Outcome Foretold” (because elections are always supposed to be surprises!)
Imran Khan, for better or for worse, is the only major politician who has stood up repeatedly against Amerikkkan domination over the country. He has been a stalwart critic of the CIA/ISI funding of terrorists in Afghanistan in the 80s, he has criticized Musharraf’s military dictatorship and elite corruption, and he has been one of the loudest voices against the drone strikes, the War on Terror, and sectarian violence.
At the end of the day, Khan has emerged as the voice against poverty, corruption, and, most promisingly, Western control over the government.
Although this has been the result of a long evolution and we certainly can’t be resting our hopes entirely at the feet of a nationalist-oriented liberal, the PTI offers the best chances at the moment of steering Pakistan in a direction of sovereignty and security.
Khan, notably, has been critical as well of Chinese-funded infrastructure projects in the country. Pakistan’s orientation is likely to shift dramatically with the PTI in power, as new coalitions and partnerships are formed. The geopolitical map is already in flux in region and it will be interesting to see how the new government rides this wave.
Afghanistan today is falling back into chaos, China is pushing its weight around, India’s unlikely to do much until the elections in 2019, and the U.$. and Pakistan have been at odds for a while now (especially since Trump started causing problems).
How Khan will manage things going forward remains to be seen. After all, this is the first time that the PTI will be at the helm of Pakistani politics, after 22 years of being an opposition party. Will Khan’s Islamic welfare state become a reality? Will Pakistan crawl out from under the thumb of the Amerikkkans? Will the PTI usher in an era of stability?
And what does this mean for the multipolar world?
In the coming weeks, as the coalition is formed, we will be able to see whether or not Khan is able to build his dream of an Naya Pakistan and what that means for the world.