Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Monday, June 29, 2020

VFP member comments on the psyop 'Russia story'


For the past several days I've been following the back-and-forth debate on a Veterans For Peace (VFP) list serve about the New York Times 'fake news' story alleging that Russia is paying the Taliban to attack US troops in Afghanistan.  I left the names of the posters off in order to respect their privacy.

Bruce

My own comment was:
The Russians don’t need to pay the Taliban to kill Americans.  After 20 years of utter failure in Afghanistan the US is trying to shift responsibility and blame – it’s likely a signal of the new anti-Russian policies that will be followed by a Biden administration. 

Here are some other comments:

  • NY TIMES reports to CNN tonight that US intelligence agencies reported to White House months ago that Russian intelligence agencies offered financial bounties to Afghan militants to kill US troops.  For months, White House has known about this and been "deliberating options" on this matter, but had "no comment" to TIMES reporters.  It is unknown whether these bounties were involved in the 20 American troops KIA last fall in Afghanistan. If VFP remains silent on this, we should close up shop.
  • No sources.  No evidence.  No fact-checking by American media. I'm not surprised Rachel Maddow fell for this. Suckers one and all.
  • Trump is a fucking traitor, a Ruski asset. No other president in my lifetime would have not done what he hasn't done. In fact I doubt if any other in history. All would have taken some action. Is America right for being in Afghanistan and Iraq, hell no but our troops are there and the president has a duty to protect.

  • I have no idea if Russia paid some of the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan and I am no fan of Donald Trump but I have some questions about how our media is presenting this new issue.  I say this because I saw similar actions myself while in Laos during the 1968 Battle of Tet.  It was our government paying tribesmen to kill North Vietnamese soldiers.  One has to wonder why this story of Russians paying Taliban to kill Americans in our current Afghanistan war is anything new or different than what appears to be part of larger war strategy. The question to me now is the politics of it.   Why is this being pushed now with an election so close?  The Democrats in the campaign of Joe Biden are using it as a way to revive the Cold War as we go to November.  But a larger question is why is the American media being so one-sided and blind to the historical context of these kind of stories.
  • One thing is certain, we have reached a consensus on the fact that this “Russian bounties for killing U.S. soldiers” story is baseless. We, as an organization, should say so.
  • The Russian DNC hacking story never had any evidence, but it was finally demolished a few months ago when Crowdstrike, the cyber security firm that allegedly "discovered" the hacking, admitted that it never had any evidence that the data was hacked by Russia.
  • Yup, here we go again. False news is not just Trump's game. Biden is definitely counterproductive. This imperial nation needs to go ahead and collapse!
  • Personally, I am not trying to nit-pick this issue. Ain't the hill I wanna die on; it fits perfectly ito the context of the Gulf of Tonkin "Incident" [circa] the 70s, and the WMD BS of the the little Bush era.
  • Silent Biden is speaking out on this phony story, criticizing Trump for not doing something to Russia for putting a bounty on US troops. He is not only useless but counterproductive. When Trump said he would consider talking to Maduro, Biden criticized him for cozying up to a dictator and Trump immediately backed down. Trump is terrible but Biden may be worse on foreign policy. When he becomes president, Biden will continue his 45 year-record of militarism, war and regime change.
  • The Times story seems to have instantly flushed out all those Putin lovers that used to fill this list with Russia love.

  • The point of the story is to insinuate that Russia is the problem rather than the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. The Russians are supposed to be particularly evil with the insinuation that the U.S. military presence is somehow made more benign by comparison. Ridiculous. Our cluster bombs are precious and pure, I suppose. 
  • This is more narrative control promoting the new cold war, that the hoax of Russia-gate was about. How can one believe US intelligence, especially when it comes to Russia, our needed enemy to fuel our own military based economy.  No named sources, with different reporters confirming their own reports with each other. Assertions, anonymous sources, nothing really verified with evidence. Remember the bullshit the NYT and press said constantly about Iraq.  Lies, lies, lies.  US troops or their surrogates remain illegally in Afghanistan, and Syria, murdering and destroying.  That is the despicable issue that goes on and on. And US supports Jihadi killers against Russians in Syria. When will the US just quit its illegal and destructive interventions and sanctions anywhere and everywhere?
  • In fact the US has unseated duly elected leaders, and is attempting repeatedly to do the same in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba.
  • So, let me see if I've got this right. We've been bombing the shit out of Afghanistan for years with some of the greatest intensity and the greatest number of Afghani civilians killed in recent years and the Afghani fighters are trying to kill us - not because of that - but because the Russkies are paying them bounties? This not only sounds like CIA war propaganda, it sounds like really bad war propaganda. I hope no one in our membership would be naive or stupid enough to believe this for a minute. If you're a board member who even considers that this sounds credible, please resign ASAP. WE need sharper minds with better memories at the helm.

  • The U.S. intelligence agencies are producing false reports to fog over the minds of the American people day in and day out. VFP should be reminding people of this, I agree. If those in power gave a hoot about any American lives they would pull all U. S. Soldiers and mercenaries out of Afghanistan immediately. But, hey, there is no profit in that so they don’t.
  • If this information is proven to be true, this is another issue which VFP should bind with other Veterans organizations and declare the Trump Admin. to be treasonous.
  • I trust that Veterans For Peace will not fall into the trap of blaming the Russians for U.S. casualties in Afghanistan. That would be counterproductive for an organization that seeks to end wars and avert a nuclear holocaust.
  • This is pure fabrication. The military/corporate elite has a vested interest in keeping the war going in Afghanistan, and what better conduit for ginning up their pro-war agenda than the NYT. And what better fall guy than Trump. Our BS meters should be redlining. 
  • So since the Times reported something an anonymous source supposedly connected to US intelligence services and it appeared on CNN, we are supposed to believe it? Whatever happened to the dictum "consider the source?"  
  • It looks to me like a Democrat plan to complete softening us up to be ready for Biden's military attack on Russia to keep his Military Industrial Complex contributors happy.
  • Right on schedule they are with their endless propaganda. They used to say that in the former Soviet Union people had to learn to read Pravda ‘up-side down’.  Time to learn that skill here as well. 

3 Comments:

Blogger Charles D said...

Bruce, you have more patience than I to stick with these long email debates. My comment is much like yours: Frankly the story published by the NY Times and Washington Post doesn't pass the smell test. Why would the Russians risk such an operation when the Taliban are perfectly willing to kill Americans anyway, when more American deaths would probably prolong US presence in Afghanistan, and there is no strategic gain to Russia from such a move. I'm betting this is part of the intelligence community's project to get rid of Trump because he is insufficiently supportive (and totally inept) while pushing for a new cold war with Russia. The release of this 'information' by unnamed intelligence officials is designed to show that Trump is in bed with Putin. I frankly think Putin has better taste.

6/29/20, 3:57 PM  
Anonymous John Grant said...

Pretty fair representation of this kerfluffle on the VFP-all list. (Bruce and I were on different sides.) One remark was mine, the one about so much "Russia love" on the list, since the reaction to this story reminded me of emails from years past during the Syria mess, which I damned from the beginning. My one criticism of Bruce's round-up is that he sets it up as a debate about the New York Times "'fake news' story..." He did put it in quotes, but it shows his bias. I'm a journalist, and it was a "news story" and, as such, vulnerable to all sorts of criticisms, some I may have as well. My point is, it's great to damn US militarism, which I've done for many decades. But why not look at Afghanistan as a plague on both their houses -- US and Russia. Why do the Russians have to be the victims of grotesque US foul play, while the Russians are victims? Why can't both countries and their despicable leaders be bad guys? That's my beef. Then we could all discuss the journalistic realities at play in the placement of the story, which even most critics concede is probably true.

6/30/20, 4:50 PM  
Blogger Bruce K. Gagnon said...

As one can easily see by reading this blog post - the 'critics' of this NYT story don't think it is true. They think it is one more big lie perpetrated by the corporate owned (and controlled) media. That is the whole point - critics are not allowed to be interviewed in these phony stories in the Times or Washington Post, nor are they allowed to be on NPR, CNN or MSNBC where the lies are touted day and night. That is why I post these comments from VFP members who have long experience dealing with the endless lies coming from the military industrial complex.

7/1/20, 4:35 AM  

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