Much like the far-right, Antifa members around the world comprise a patchwork of groups, though the most active appear to be based in the US, the UK (under the name Anti-Fascist Action) and Germany (Antifaschistische Aktion).
The German movement was founded in 1932 to provide a militant far-left group to counter the fast-rising Nazi party.
They were disbanded in 1933 after Hitler took control of parliament and were resurrected in the 1980s as a response to neo-Nazism after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
*** The BBC actually did us a favor with this reminder, however, lets go further shall we?
The America Heroes Channel ran a program last night titled The Hitler Apocalypse in which for a fleeting moment there was a particular building in the show. As you read below, you should take some notes on the positions of mayors, governors and other lawmakers in Washington DC, regarding exactly where their loyalty is planted. Removing monuments, stopping speech, allowing violent protests and rallies and having law enforcement stand idle rather than protecting people exacerbates the chaos that will be with us on Main Street for a long while.
Notice that large sign on the building with the flag? Look familiar?
Media will tell you this new movement and the old one was a far right movement, while others will tell you it is far left. Sheesh….
Going back to an interview in part published in 2009:
In the UK, we hear a lot about a strong autonomous Antifa movement in Germany. Could you give us a bit of an idea how this has come about?
The autonomous Antifa is part of the radical left movement which developed following 1968. After the protests of the early 1970s had faded, the radical left seemed to be in a dead-end. A large part of the left occupied itself with the debate over the armed struggle of the RAF and other armed groups, as well as with their conditions of imprisonment. Another part organized in orthodox communist splinter groups. Although strong in numbers, by the early 1980s both approaches had lost contact to societal discourse and struggles. More here.
Hitler was ideologically opposed to communism but realised that the KPD did represent a real threat to the Nazis prior to January 1933. The KPD was the largest communist movement outside of the USSR and during the mid to late 1920’s had sort to develop closer ties to the USSR. Probably the most famous leader the KPD had was Ernst Thälmann who was arrested by the Gestapo in 1933 and shot in 1944, after 11 years in solitary confinement, on the direct orders of Hitler.
Prior to the March 1933 election, the KPD had made steady gains in the national elections. However, the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor in January 1933 and the Reichstag Fire of February 1933 and the consequences surrounding the fire, spelt the end of any political influence that the KPD might have had. The Reichstag Fire was blamed on the KPD and in the immediate aftermath of the fire, KPD leaders were rounded up and were among the first people to be put into the newly created Dachau concentration camp, which was just outside of Munich. After the Enabling Act was passed in March 1933, it was very dangerous for anyone to openly espouse their support for the KPD and the influence of the party swiftly dwindled. Some KPD members fled to the USSR while others spent years in hiding. More here.
The KPD (Communist Party) was formed from the Spartacus Union that had led a revolt against the Weimar government in January 1919. It was very closely allied to Moscow and it refused to co-operate in any way with the parties that supported Weimar. They were especially hostile to the SPD. This refusal to support Democratic parties went as far as allying with the Nazis (their sworn enemies) in Reichstag votes. This was in order to further destabilize the Republic.
*** So we have communists, socialists, Marxists all in the mix and none of it is compatible with standing U.S. law or the Founding Documents of protection for Americans. Just in case you need more on the Antifa movement in the United States and their national chatter among those in solidarity, go to this Twitter account, that is if you can stomach the whole thing. By the way, that is the Beverly Hills Antifa Twitter account…hello Hollywood.
The Supreme Court of the United States has not ruled on the Communist Control Act’s constitutionality. Despite that, no administration has tried to enforce it. The provisions of the act “outlawing” the party have not been repealed. Nevertheless, the Communist Party USA continues to exist in the 21st century.
U-S lawmakers say there is new evidence that Soviet-era leaders were backing plans for a secret war to be fought by Soviet agents in America during the cold war.
Former agents of the Soviet intelligence service, the K-G-B, say there were plans for sabotage, assassination, and perhaps even the use of small nuclear devices on U-S soil as late as the 1970’s. And you think Moscow is trustworthy? Remember, China and Russia are the lead team now dealing with the North Korea threat.
It may have seemed like any other Thursday in Moscow. The dismally overcast sky and near-freezing temperature lay heavy on the city, heralding the darkening days of winter. On that morning, the historical Art Nouveau-style Hotel Metropol Moscow, situated between the Kremlin and the FSB (formerly KGB) headquarters, was slowly and quietly filling with important guests. It is unlikely that many passers-by noticed the members of Russia’s power elite, headed by President Vladimir Putin, arriving one by one at the hidden entrance.
It was 10 December 2015. Russia’s global propaganda television channel RT (formerly Russia Today) was celebrating its 10th anniversary with a lavish gala. The organizers had put great effort into hand-picking the guests: the tables were filled with high-calibre figures active in the fields of politics, the economy, and propaganda.
When analyzing images taken at the event in light of the information available today, it is immediately clear to a watchful eye that this was a carefully planned Russian active influence operation. Its main objective was not to promote the television channel but to prepare for the massive interference in the upcoming US presidential elections.
Retired US General Michael T. Flynn had taken his place at Putin’s right hand. By that time, it was well known in Moscow that Flynn could play a key role in advising presidential candidate Donald Trump on national security issues. A battle-hardened veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Flynn’s pronounced negativity towards Islam suited Russia very well.
Putin and General Flynn at the celebration of RT anniversary in Moscow, 10 December 2015. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev
Flynn did not fail to meet the expectations of those who had ordered the speech. For 40,000 dollars, the retired general scolded Obama’s administration for its Middle East policy and kept mum about Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, as well as the many civilian casualties of air strikes in Syria. One must not forget that during the Metropol gala the international situation was rather tense, especially when it came to Russia’s relationship with the West. Only a couple of weeks had passed since Turkey had shot down a Russian Su-24M attack aircraft on 24 November 2015. Flynn was not bothered by this.
Putin did not shy away from egging Flynn on during their dinner-table talk. Having essentially been removed from the position of director of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Flynn had a bone to pick with President Barack Obama. Thus, Putin’s jaundiced views on Obama and Hillary Clinton fell on fertile ground. Flynn admitted in a later interview with Dana Priest of The Washington Post that the only thing he remembers from his table talk with Putin was the latter’s deep mistrust of the Obama administration.
Flynn had likely been under surveillance for a while. When he was still the director of the DIA in 2013, the three-star General Flynn received an unusually warm welcome in Moscow. He was the first—and so far the only—high-profile US officer to have entered the headquarters of Russia’s Main Intelligence Agency (GRU). Flynn himself remembers this with great pride because he was asked to conduct a masterclass on the professional development of leadership. The mind boggles at the thought of what the listeners made of him at the time. After all, countering the activities of the US and its allies was and continues to be one of the GRU’s main priorities.
Nevertheless, it is evident that Flynn ending up as the main guest at the December 2015 gala was no coincidence; the role of RT commentator was merely a suitable cover. However, Flynn was not the only one to attract attention on that table of ten bigwigs.
Right across from Putin sat another fateful figure from the US—the Green Party’s presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is known for her accentuated friendliness towards Russia. She also made a presentation at the gala, although her presence was advertised more modestly than Flynn’s. Still, it was Stein who became the dark horse of the November 2016 elections.
To-be U.S. presidential candidate Jill Stein in Moscow’s Red Square, December 2015. Screenshot from a video
Stein drew more votes in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan than Trump’s margin of victory over Hillary Clinton. Stein received the votes of 1.4 million people nationwide, i.e. 1% of voters. All this could have been an additional reason for stopping Clinton from becoming president.
Putin was not the only one gracing Flynn and Stein with his undivided attention at the main table. The conversation was steered by the then Kremlin Chief of Staff and former KGB general Sergey Ivanov, the president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov (who is also regarded in intelligence circles as Putin’s national defence adviser), one of the Kremlin’s leading propaganda chiefs Alexey Gromov, and RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, who is known to be friends with Putin.
In order to help Flynn and Stein blend in with the crowd, the main table also included Willy Wimmer, a veteran German politician from Angela Merkel’s party and a former member of the Bundestag (1976–2009), and the former Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda. Both are also known for their pro-Russian attitude. For instance, Wimmer has said that pursuing an anti-Russia policy is a crime against the whole of Europe. As expected, Wimmer’s analysis has no room for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, because he believes that the coup in Kyiv was caused by the West.
The picture of what transpired at the Metropol would be incomplete without mention of Julian Assange, whose presentation was broadcast via a live link and who was later suspected of leaking 20,000 emails stolen from the server of the US Democratic Party; former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who has justified Russia’s aggression against Ukraine with the need for protection from NATO; and a former analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, Raymond McGovern, who had become a scandalous political activist in the 1990s. McGovern later admitted to having voted for Stein in the 2016 elections.
As the event at the Metropol drew to a close, few people realized that something big was happening. Back then, nobody outside his immediate circle knew Flynn. Today, his name features in the international media almost every day, and with good reason. The most dramatic outside interference in the US presidential elections is a fact, and Flynn played one of the key roles in it.
Trump and Flynn during the 2016 presidential race. Photo: George Frey
Even though his career as President Trump’s national security adviser was cut short, his suspicious and covert ties managed to cause serious damage to the reputation of the US as the leader of the Western world. The story does not end there. One thing is certain: this is the first time the global public has felt the reach of Russia’s influence operations and the professionalism of its subterfuge so clearly. Many see this as something new and unexpected but, in reality, it was a long time coming.
II. The Marquis de Custine’s timeless testament
In 1839, a French aristocrat, the Marquis de Custine, traveled to Russia to seek support for his reactionary views. He was resentful of the representative democracy of his own country and thought it would lead to mob rule. He was a well-known travel writer and had published eloquent accounts of Spain and Italy.
Custine got the idea to write about Russia from the 1835 book by Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, in which the author foretells a great future for Russia and the US. Custine was later called “the Russian Tocqueville”.
He spent most of his time in Russia in Saint Petersburg, but he also visited Moscow and Yaroslavl. Custine was interested in the lives, customs, and mindsets of both the aristocracy and common folk. His hopes of finding support for his ideas in Russian authoritarianism were promptly crushed. He was especially appalled by the fact that Russians were ready to cheerfully collaborate with their own enslavers.
Having collected only one year’s worth of immediate impressions and information, Custine managed to turn the material into a book titled La Russie en 1839, which captures the nature of Russia extremely well. The book was so successful that for a long time it was banned by the Russian authorities. The unabridged version of Custine’s book was finally published in Russia 157 years later, in 1996.
Among other things, the author noticed the tendency of Russians to deceive their guests or alter reality. Custine wrote that everything in the country was an illusion and the professional misleading of foreigners was a practice only known in Russia.
In 1839, Custine recorded the thoughts of a noble Russian companion on the role of lie in his government’s policy
A former US ambassador in Moscow, General Walter Bedell Smith, wrote an introduction to the English edition of Custine’s book in 1951. Smith stressed that Custine’s political analysis was “so penetrating and timeless that it could be called the best work so far produced about the Soviet Union.” All of today’s extensive historical books on Russia owe thanks to Custine’s contribution. In Russia, however, the Frenchman is seen as the father of classic Russophobia.
Custine was not the first or only person to draw attention to Russia’s “Susaninist” nature. Even during the Livonian War (1558–83), the tsar’s negotiators tried to leave the misleading impression that Tallinn was situated on ancient Russian land and that Livonia should, therefore, be ruled by Moscow. The “villages” of Prince Potemkin, a favorite of Catherine the Great, have even acquired a proverbial meaning.
III. The KGB and the beginnings of disinformation as a science
The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 changed everything. All previous experiences paled before the extent to which deliberate lying, deception and misleading became a conscious choice in the forge of the Bolshevik special services. In the course of a century, many people from all over the world, from popes to presidents, from countries to international organizations, witnessed the disinformation skills of the Cheka/GPU/NKVD/KGB/FSB and the implementation of active influence measures in the service of Russian foreign policy.
The use of disinformation as a tactical weapon of influence became organized as early as 1923, when the Deputy Director of the GPU, Józef Unszlicht, formed a special disinformation unit to conduct active intelligence operations. Born in Poland, Unszlicht was one of the founders of the Cheka and saw disinformation as an excellent opportunity to create successful diversions in open Western societies.
On 22 December 1922, Unszlicht and Roman Pillar wrote to Stalin’s Politburo that the special disinformation unit should focus on the creation and distribution of misleading information. The best way to spread disinformation in a credible manner was to use the media of open societies. Stalin and the Politburo approved the proposal and urged Unszlicht to proceed.
The first notable and successful use of disinformation was Operation Trust. This ran from 1923 to 1927 with the aim to mislead the White Army and monarchist organizations in exile and foreign intelligence institutions with false information about an extensive resistance organization, Trust, operating within the Soviet Union. The illusion helped to lure many anti-Soviet (Boris Savinkov and Pavel Dolgorukov) and foreign (Sidney Reilly) agents into Russia, who were then arrested and executed. Interestingly, both the beginning and the end of the operation had close ties to Estonia and Latvia.
Trial of Boris Savinkov, an ardent anti-Bolshevik, who was lured to the USSR by Soviet secret services in August 1924. He was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment and was said to have committed suicide in jail in May 1925. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Trust was followed by a number of other known and less-known operations that have provided material for hundreds of books. One of the best sources is the collection of notes made by Vasili Mitrokhin during his 30 years as a KGB archivist before he fled to the West in 1992. The historian Christopher Andrew has written two hefty books based on these notes.
Another person who deserves a mention is Ion Pacepa, a general in the Romanian communist special service Securitate, who fled to the US in 1978. In 2013, he published the book Disinformation, in which he uses his own immediate knowledge to shed light on the creation of false narratives such as the framing of Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope” during World War II.
In the Soviet Union, disinformation became a science in its own right and was honed to perfection over the years. The term was first used in The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia in 1952, where it was presented as classic disinformation. According to the book, disinformation constitutes false news distributed in the media with the intention of misleading the public. The entry added that such tactics were used by the West against the Soviet Union. The truth was, naturally, the exact opposite.
Curiously, “disinformation” did not enter Western dictionaries until the late 1980s. The English word is directly derived from the Russian дезинформация [dezinformatsiya — ed.].
In the late 1960s, the Director of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, took disinformation as a successful instrument of influence to a whole new level. Andropov himself said that:
“disinformation is like cocaine—sniff once or twice, it may not change your life. If you use it every day, though, it will make you an addict—a different man.”
FSB reinstalled the memorial plaque to Andropov, which was dismantled in 1991, on its Moscow headquarters in December 1999, shortly before ex-FSB director Vladimir Putin became acting president of Russia. Photo: Anatoly Novak
In general, it is customary for foreign intelligence services to be created on the basis of collected information to advise a country’s political authorities in matters of foreign relations. However, in addition to collecting past facts, the tasks of Russian foreign intelligence involve manipulating the future.
Furthermore, the masterclass of Russian special services includes the creation of a new past to destabilize the opponent, which is then used to tamper with the latter’s international image. I will look at Estonian examples later, but Russian attempts to change the past to serve its foreign-policy interests are best illustrated by the subject of World War II.
It is crucial to understand that the fall of the Soviet Union changed nothing. The KGB was broken up and reorganized, but its tasks remained roughly the same. Mistrust in the Western system of values and security persisted.
For instance, in his 2007 book Comrade J, Pete Earley uses the story of Sergei Tretyakov, a high-ranking Russian intelligence officer who defected while at the UN in 2000, to demonstrate how Moscow continued with active intelligence and influence operations against the US even in the 1990s, the friendliest period in their relationship.
Tretyakov makes a thought-provoking statement in the book:
I want to warn Americans. As a people, you are very naive about Russia and its intentions. You believe because the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia now is your friend. It isn’t, and I can show you how the SVR [Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service — ed.] is trying to destroy the US even today and even more than the KGB did during the Cold War.
Thanks to the endless possibilities of the internet, disinformation and national propaganda acquired an entirely new meaning with the rise to power of the former KGB intelligence officer and FSB director Vladimir Putin in 1999. The KGB’s machinery was polished and harnessed to serve Russia’s imperialist interests. The state quickly assumed control over the media, and the leading television stations became the world’s most professional propaganda outlets.
The authorities turned their attention to information security, which quickly found its way into new strategy documents. Its nuances were made famous by Russian general and current Chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, in his notorious doctrine.
The introduction of social media and its rapid development have proved to be an unprecedented goldmine for intelligence services. The distribution of disinformation is considerably easier in today’s world than it was in the late 1980s, for instance.To compare: it took more than three years for the KGB’s Operation INFEKTION to succeed in spreading a global rumor that the HIV virus originated from the Pentagon’s biological weapons program. This information leak first appeared in a small pro-Soviet Indian paper, Patriot, on 17 July 1983. Two years later, this was referenced by a popular Soviet weekly, Literaturnaya Gazeta, as the source of the scandalous story. From there it found its way to the front page of a British tabloid, and by April 1987 the fake news had been published by the mainstream media of 50 countries.
A standard message featured by a leftist paper within the AIDS disinformation campaign
On the eve of the decisive round of the 2017 French presidential elections, the favorite, Emmanuel Macron, fell victim to a massive hacking attack. The database of his e-mails and other documents went viral on a file-sharing service within minutes. In the space of just three hours, the post was shared around 47,000 times, and half a day later it was trending worldwide on Twitter. Even though Russia has denied involvement, the cyber trails prove otherwise.
In the noughties, several Western intelligence leaders were already complaining that Russia had become more active than it had been during the Cold War, but this went largely unnoticed. Russia was off the radar while the focus lay on Afghanistan and the Middle East in general. The Western political elite began to regard Russia as a threat only after the occupation and annexation of Crimea. This also brought Moscow’s activities back into the sights of intelligence services.
IV. Estonia as a target of Russian information attacks
Depicting Estonia (and Latvia) as a country that discriminates against minorities and promotes Nazism has been one of Russia’s largest and most consistent international deception operations in the last 25 years. The reasons for this are numerous, the main one being Moscow’s strategic interest in restoring its authority over the Baltic States. Russia became particularly pushy in the 1990s when Estonia and the other Baltic States were applying for membership of NATO and the European Union.
On 4 December 1991, only three months after the restoration of independence, the Estonian foreign ministry was forced to send its Soviet counterpart a note condemning President Mikhail Gorbachev’s hostile attitude towards the Baltic States during his appearance on Soviet Central Television the previous day. Gorbachev first blamed the Baltic States for violating the human rights of minorities and then added that Russians, Ukrainians and other minorities living in the Baltic States had requested protection from the Soviet Union. Estonian diplomats treated this as a threat to national security.
Active measures continued to be taken in this spirit on both diplomatic and journalistic levels for years. Essentially, it has not stopped, even today. The situation was particularly severe in the 1990s when Russia tried to influence the West to ignore the Baltic States. Moscow also tried to discourage Estonia from adopting the Aliens Act in 1993 by issuing threats bordering on the undiplomatic.
For instance, on 18 June 1993, the then Russian deputy foreign minister, Vitaly Churkin, who later became Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Radio Moscow that: “Russian-Estonian relations are clearly deteriorating. We are currently preparing a package of serious diplomatic, political and perhaps not only political measures with regard to Estonia.” Six days later, President Boris Yeltsin said that Estonia had “forgotten” geopolitical and demographic reality and threatened that Russia had the means to refresh its memory. Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev did not hold back on 14 August 1993, saying that international relations in the Baltic States had “strong potential for violence and unrest.”
On 23 August 1993—exactly 54 years after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact—Yeltsin’s press secretary, Vyacheslav Kostikov, naively stated that:
“the forces that try to push Russia out of the Baltic States must consider that Russia governed the Baltic geopolitical area for centuries and it has invested great material and intellectual resources into its development.”
On 2 March 1994, Artur Laast, a diplomat at the Estonian Embassy in Moscow, was invited to the Russian foreign ministry, where the head of the Second European Department, Yuri Fokin, made a threatening oral statement about President Lennart Meri’s criticism of Russia in his speech at the annual Matthiae-Mahl dinner in Hamburg on 25 February. The memo of the meeting ends with Laast quoting the Russian diplomat: “If the course that is focused on aggravating the relations between the two neighboring countries does not change, Estonia will assume full responsibility.”
In the 1994 report “Russian Threats to Estonia” by the embassy in Moscow, an Estonian diplomat discusses political hazards among other questions. The author of the report writes that Russia:
“attempts to influence Estonia by damaging us on the international arena. For this, it uses the well-known thesis of violating the human rights of the Russian minority, spreads rumors that Estonia has become a transit country for crime and that Estonian citizens participate in military conflicts in Tajikistan and Chechnya, and accuses us of supporting separatism in Russia.”
These are only a few examples from the archive of the Estonian foreign ministry that illustrate Russia’s diplomatic pressure on Estonia, but also on the West. At the time, occupying forces were still in Estonia. The troops were withdrawn on 31 August 1994.
When the First Chechen War broke out at the end of 1994, Russian media gave extensive coverage to a false news story about alleged Baltic female biathletes serving as snipers on Dudayev’s side. As the so-called “White Tights,” the phantom snipers even featured in songs.
From my time as a foreign correspondent in Moscow, I clearly remember a detailed, multi-page account in the daily Moskovskiye Novosti of how Estonians were skilled and disciplined killers: all this to distort our image and influence public opinion at home and abroad.
World War II has remained one of the main arguments in the information war against Estonia over the last 25 years. The tension grew at the beginning of Putin’s tenure and finally led to the Bronze Night events in 2007. Russia has not made much progress on this matter or on other topics.
Russian anti-Estonian cartoon attacks Estonian schools as an alleged hotbed of Nazism as opposed to Russian/Soviet-style “peace education.” Source: newsbalt.ru
Estonia has now been a member of NATO and the EU for 13 years and will use its presidency of the EU Council to collaborate with other member states to implement more effective means to combat Russia’s information attacks and disinformation campaigns.
V. In place of an epilogue
In 1930, Professor Dmitry Manuilsky of Moscow’s Leninist School of Political Warfare wrote that Russia was creating the world’s most progressive peace movement to lull the West to sleep. Convinced that a war between the two great systems was inevitable, Manuilsky thought that:
“foolish and decadent capitalist countries will be happy to use the opportunity to cooperate with us to bring about their own destruction. They will use every opportunity to become friends. As soon as the enemy lets their guard down, we will crush them with our iron fist.”
The Soviet empire used various means to achieve its geopolitical goals and, to an extent, world domination. At the forefront of the campaign in the free world were the “useful idiots” and agents of influence.Moscow took good care of its mouthpieces. In the 1980s, French communists were paid 24 million dollars, while Americans received 21 million dollars. Finnish communists received a generous reward of 16.5 million dollars for their pro-Russian views. During the final two decades of the Soviet Union, Moscow distributed more than 400 million dollars of such benefits all over the world, mainly to extremist communist movements.
The fight for the hearts and minds of the free world was on, and it has not subsided even today. Russia’s new clients are mainly extremist forces of both left and right, and by supporting them Moscow tries to weaken the integrity of the European Union and NATO, disrupt the internal stability of their member countries, and create the circumstances for a Finlandization of Europe.
Russia has managed to make a right mess of America’s domestic politics. However, the Dutch and French elections provided some assurance that Moscow’s influence operations have limits and that Europe is not disintegrating. Then again, the fight continues and it is too early to draw any final conclusions.
The international debate has provided many good ideas and political suggestions to counter Russia’s aggression, information attacks, and propaganda. History provides good counsel, even here.
On 14 April 1950, only 12 months after the founding of NATO, the US National Security Council’s special task force presented President Harry Truman with top-secret report No. 68. The 58-page document was essentially the basis for the US long-term policy on the Soviet Union, which culminated with the victory in the Cold War in the late 1980s. The report described the challenge posed by the Soviet Union as something that could cause “the destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself.” The Soviet Union was treated as the exact opposite of the US, with Moscow’s expansionist policy deemed a great threat to the security of the free world.
Among other topics, the report also highlighted the fight against the Soviet Union’s influence operations. The document stressed that the campaign for truth must above all become a fight for people’s minds.
Putin boasts of Russia’s fight against ISIS in Syria to the filmmaker Oliver Stone showing a U.S. video from Afghanistan. Screenshots from Stone’s film The Putin Interviews (2017)
A lot has changed by 2017 but, in general, Russia and the US, together with the latter’s allies, remain in fundamental opposition. Hence it is vital that the allies’ conflict-avoidance strategy looks beyond the false hope of solving problems with meaningless dialogue.
For those who know me well, there are two presidents that I loved more than all the others. The first is Calvin Coolidge. The second is Ronald Reagan who idolized Coolidge. A new book has come out that I highly recommend that is written by Henry Olsen, entitled: The Working Class Republican – Ronald Reagan And The Return Of Blue-Collar Conservatism. President Reagan changed my life and made me a staunch constitutional conservative. So of course, this book intrigued me.
In this book, Olsen takes a controversial stand that Roosevelt’s New Deal was more conservative than anyone knew. The book promotes that Ronald Reagan was the natural heir to the New Deal. Now, I personally don’t agree with that, but I find Olsen’s argument very interesting. I think you will too. Some of the things that Olsen puts forth are correct. Reagan appealed to both Democrats and Republicans because he used common sense, truth and passion to get his points across. And when he was elected, he had a clear plan, kept his promises and got things done. He worked within the government, not against it to accomplish his agenda. He was monstrously successful at it too.
In this sure to be controversial book in the vein of The Forgotten Man, a political analyst argues that conservative icon Ronald Reagan was not an enemy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal, but his true heir and the popular program’s ultimate savior.
Conventional political wisdom views the two most consequential presidents of the twentieth-century—FDR and Ronald Reagan—as ideological opposites. FDR is hailed as the champion of big-government progressivism manifested in the New Deal. Reagan is seen as the crusader for conservatism dedicated to small government and free markets. But Henry Olsen argues that this assumption is wrong.
In The Working Class Republican, Olsen contends that the historical record clearly shows that Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal itself were more conservative than either Democrats or Republicans believe, and that Ronald Reagan was more progressive than most contemporary Republicans understand. Olsen cuts through political mythology to set the record straight, revealing how Reagan—a longtime Democrat until FDR’s successors lost his vision in the 1960s—saw himself as FDR’s natural heir, carrying forward the basic promises of the New Deal: that every American deserves comfort, dignity, and respect provided they work to the best of their ability.
Olsen corrects faulty assumptions driving today’s politics. Conservative Republican political victories over the last thirty years have not been a rejection of the New Deal’s promises, he demonstrates, but rather a representation of the electorate’s desire for their success—which Americans see as fulfilling the vision of the nation’s founding. For the good of all citizens and the GOP, he implores Republicans to once again become a party of “FDR Conservatives”—to rediscover and support the basic elements of FDR (and Reagan’s) vision.
Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. A former president of the Commonwealth Foundation, he has also served in senior leadership roles at the Manhattan Institute and American Enterprise Institute. Olsen earned his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and J.D. from the University of Chicago. This is a brilliant and thoughtful man. And one that would be fascinating to debate points with.
The book draws parallels between the Trump presidency and Reagan’s. Perhaps there are some, but for the most part, I don’t see them. Trump did mimic Reagan to some extent, but their styles and methodology are as different as night and day. Olsen applies to American politics what he terms the “truckers and cashiers” test. Truck driving is the biggest employer of white, working-class men, and being a cashier or waitress is the most common blue-collar job for white, working-class women. For Reagan, “virtually every speech had this person in mind, and virtually every speech had something that person could uniquely relate to.” Trump does this to some extent as well, but not nearly as effectively. He is attempting to work within the government framework somewhat, but not to the extent or the manner that Ronald Reagan did.
Read the book and decide for yourself if there is indeed a connection between FDR and Reagan. It’s a fascinating conclusion that deserves considering. But in the end… personally I feel Reagan was the disciple far more of Coolidge than he was of FDR. Pick up a copy of Olsen’s fascinating book here.
As defined by Diffen.com, a republic is similar to a representative democracy except it has a written constitution of basic rights that protect the minority from being completely unrepresented or overridden by the majority. In theory, all citizens have an equal say and so are treated equally by the government, especially insofar as there is a constitutional prohibition on government discrimination.
Power is not alluring to pure minds. — Thomas Jefferson
Today’s deep state controlled media lead liberals to seek to enlarge the government and give it more and more power. They believe that in doing so that they can position themselves to maintain and/or assume control of that power. However, the issue that they keep running into — and it really upsets them — is that the constitution was designed to protect the people from the government. Many liberals today would throw out the constitution if they could. It maintains a continuous thorn in their side as they work towards their globalist and collectivist agenda.
The vast majority of liberals are secular humanists who don’t actually believe that Jesus Christ is sovereign, alive, and pursuing a relationship with them. Additionally, they believe that truth is relative, that there is no such thing as THE truth (as Christians believe there is), but that truth is found by majority opinion. So from that paradigm, they seek a big government (ie. big powerful secular god) that they can control and manipulate (through propaganda) to sway public opinion (a.k.a their archetype of truth) to control the people via their fleeting irrational sentiments, emotion, and whim.
Hence the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the media jackals who are controlled by the deep state and who in turn control the DNC.
Throughout his entire life, Thomas Jefferson was a consistent opponent of slavery. Calling it a “moral depravity”1 and a “hideous blot,”2 he believed that slavery presented the greatest threat to the survival of the new American nation.3 Jefferson also thought that slavery was contrary to the laws of nature, which decreed that everyone had a right to personal liberty.4 These views were radical in a world where unfree labor was the norm.
At the time of the American Revolution, Jefferson was actively involved in legislation that he hoped would result in slavery’s abolition.5 In 1778, he drafted a Virginia law that prohibited the importation of enslaved Africans.6 In 1784, he proposed an ordinance that would ban slavery in the Northwest territories.7But Jefferson always maintained that the decision to emancipate slaves would have to be part of a democratic process; abolition would be stymied until slaveowners consented to free their human property together in a large-scale act of emancipation.
Here’s the hope!
Well before we get into the hope, let’s make a few things abundantly clear. We are more than a bit irreverent and certainly not politically correct. As George Carlin stated, “Political Correctness is fascism attempting to appear as manners.” It can make for some great entertainment when you try and create peer pressure for us to become what you consider politically correct — good luck with that 🙂
If you’ve made it this far, and you are one of our liberal friends, you are either not easily triggered or reading this post has taken you three days — either way congrats. We can be friends. We’ll not stop giving you a hard time for your folly, but we can be friends.
Here’s where we’re headed. We’re not trying to convert the left. We’re entertaining and facilitating communication for a family of Christian Conservatives. We believe that together we can manifest the Kingdom of Heaven on earth — not through legislating morality, but through raising awareness in Patriots that the government is a reflection of their hearts and minds. We seek liberty at all costs! It was for liberty that Christ set us free.
Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government. — Thomas Jefferson
This is the day we remember those who have fallen in battle, thereby making the supreme sacrifice in service to our great nation. Too many of us don’t fully recognize what this day symbolizes. So I am offering a Memorial Day prayer, both to give my thanks and hopefully help us all be a little more appreciative.
Here it is:
I pray for the fallen, those brave souls who gave their all for this country, never flinching from their duty, whatever they were called to do, and whether the leadership decisions that brought them to their last mission were well considered or not. They have given all they had, without question.
But I pray especially for the fathers and sons, mothers and daughters of these fallen princes, for they have to live on without, and doubtless would have taken their place without question, even if only to save themselves from such unbearable pain. Nothing can compare to the suffering endured by a mother who loses her child, or a child who loses his mother or father before their time. The fallen sacrifice their lives; the family sacrifices the rest of their lives. They will never see what their beloved’s life could have become, will no more share life’s trials and triumphs with them, never again see their smile or share their warmth on a cold winter’s night. They live in a sea of grief and will carry that wound for eternity. So, please God, bestow Your Tenderness and Grace especially on these families, whose loss can never be repaid.
But God, I pray also for the rest of us, for we lose too. We lose what could have been, from among the most selfless, principled, promising souls of our living generations. I would gladly exchange any ten Harvard graduates for one serviceman who willingly walks at the knifepoint. He has more guts, more integrity, more fortitude and likely more resourcefulness than the lot of them combined.
So, God, please let not their ultimate sacrifice be in vain. See to it that the objectives they were deployed to obtain are achieved. See to it that we have the satisfaction of realizing their mission successfully concluded. God, preserve this country for which they gave their lives, and give us all the wisdom, humility, and virtue to fully comprehend and gratefully acknowledge their sacrifices for what they are; for “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
While I sometimes disagree with Dennis Prager’s perceptions of certain principles and solutions, I recommend his and any honest examination of this question. Such a study reveals very harmful strategies and tactics by global collectivists (they like to say “communitarian”) elites for generations.
For more on this intentional distortion of current events, history, and political philosophy, I recommend looking into Diana West’s revelatory book, American Betrayal and the work of a very underrated hero of the Twentieth Century, Norman Dodd. These recommendations go to Mr. Prager, too.
When people describe particularly evil individuals or regimes, why is it that they use the terms “Nazi” or “fascist,” but almost never “communist?” Given the unparalleled amount of human suffering communists have caused, why is “communist” so much less a term of revulsion than “Nazi?”
Communists killed 70 million people in China, more than 20 million people in the Soviet Union (not including about 5 million Ukrainians), and almost one out of every three Cambodians. And communists enslaved entire nations in Russia, Vietnam, China, Eastern Europe, North Korea, Cuba and much of Central Asia. They ruined the lives of well over a billion people. So, why doesn’t communism have the same terrible reputation as Nazism?
The film uncovers the secret history of how the Soviet Union used Islamists and dictators in the Middle East to further its objectives and how Vladimir Putin’s Russia continues this strategy today, endangering Americans and all freedom-loving peoples.
After World War II, the Soviet Union used Muslim intelligence assets to subvert neighboring Muslim-majority nations. Putin’s Russia continues to infiltrate Islamic communities around the world, including Chechnya, Iran, Syria and Palestine, and also at home in the United States, where Islamists and communists have joined in an unlikely alliance.
The film is narrated and written by conservative author Trevor Loudon, directed by Judd Saul and produced by Cohesion Films in partnership with Dangerous Documentaries (a project of the Capital Research Center). (Bombthrowers, too, is a project of Capital Research Center.)
The first film in our “America Under Siege” webseries, “Civil War 2017,” is available to view here.
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’S ADDRESS TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS
Remarks as prepared for delivery TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and Citizens of America:
Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains. Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.
Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains. Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.
Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice — in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present.
That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world. I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart.
A new chapter of American Greatness is now beginning.
A new national pride is sweeping across our Nation.
And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp.
What we are witnessing today is the Renewal of the American Spirit.
Our allies will find that America is once again ready to lead.
All the nations of the world — friend or foe — will find that America is strong, America is proud, and America is free.
In nine years, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of our founding — 250 years since the day we declared our Independence.
It will be one of the great milestones in the history of the world.
But what will America look like as we reach our 250th year? What kind of country will we leave for our children?
I will not allow the mistakes of recent decades past to define the course of our future.
The civil rights “icon,” Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), has suddenly discovered the dangers of Russian influence in the U.S. political process. He tells Chuck Todd of NBC News, “I don’t see this President-elect [Donald J. Trump] as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
It will be interesting to see if Lewis disavows Russian manipulation of the civil rights movement. The movement began as a reasonable demand for equal rights for blacks, but was manipulated by outside agitators associated with the Moscow-funded Communist Party USA into becoming an instrument of Russian foreign policy.
The sad truth about Martin Luther King, Jr. is that his original mission of equal rights for black Americans changed later in life when he was surrounded by pro-Moscow communist advisers who turned him against the Vietnam War. A noble effort to save South Vietnam from communism was eventually defeated, not by the communist enemy on the military battlefield but by a Democratic Party-controlled Congress which terminated assistance to the government in Saigon. Vietnam became, and remains, a communist dictatorship.
Lewis became one of many black pawns in this Soviet scheme when he wrote for Freedomways—a propaganda organ of the Communist Party USA, and Soviet front organizations such as the World Peace Council—for 25 years. Freedomways was influential in the black community.
Lewis wrote a 1965 Freedomways article, “Paul Robeson: Inspirer of Youth,” about the famous actor and singer who had been a member of the CPUSA and admirer of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. In one of his more controversial statements, Robeson said that “American Negroes would never go to war against Russia,” because blacks loved Russia so much.
Today, however, blacks like Lewis are suddenly finding the Russians to be odious and obnoxious because they are perceived to have supported Trump.
The communist penetration and manipulation of the civil rights movement has been documented in the Operation SOLO documents still on the FBI website. They demonstrate that the Soviet Union illegally provided funding, reportedly more than $28 million, to the Communist Party USA, which then provided some of it to Freedomways. The documents are based on FBI informants, Morris and Jack Childs, who had infiltrated the highest levels of the CPUSA and had participated in meetings with foreign communist parties.
The presidency of Barack Obama proves that Martin Luther King, Jr. was not the last black figure to be manipulated by Moscow. In Obama’s case, it was Frank Marshall Davis, his mentor and suspected Soviet espionage agent. Strangely, Davis was recommended as a father figure for Obama by Obama’s own grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, who was reputed to be a CIA officer monitoring Davis’s communist activities.
It’s funny how the CIA did not issue any public warnings or alerts about the Russian influence on Obama before he took office in 2008. Nothing surfaced in the press from the CIA about Obama’s communist connections in Hawaii or Chicago.
As Obama leaves the presidency, it is relevant to go back in history to 2007, when Marxist writer Gerald Horne gave a speech, “Rethinking the History and Future of the Communist Party.” Horne mentioned how black CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis had gone to Hawaii in 1948 and had become friends with a “Euro-American family” that included a child “who goes by the name of Barack Obama…”
Notice the odd use of the phrase “who goes by the name of Barack Obama.”
Horne had said, “In his best-selling memoir ‘Dreams of my Father,’ [sic] the author [Barack Obama] speaks warmly of an older black poet, he identifies simply as ‘Frank,’ as being a decisive influence in helping him to find his present identity as an African-American, a people who have been the least anticommunist and the most left-leaning of any constituency in this nation—though you would never know it from reading so-called left journals of opinion.”
Horne’s reference to African-Americans as “a people who have been the least anticommunist and the most left-leaning of any constituency in this nation” reflects Moscow’s successful effort to manipulate the civil rights movement and divert some of its members into pro-Moscow causes, such as abandoning the people of South Vietnam to communism.
For his part, Obama has abandoned the people of Crimea and eastern Ukraine to the Russians. It’s Obama, not Trump, who ordered the CIA to support Syrian “rebels” and jihadists, only to provoke a Russian military intervention that has left Russia and its allies with major gains in the Middle East.
By any objective measure, the Russians have benefited nicely from the Obama presidency. Yet it’s Trump who stands accused by the Democrats and their media allies (and some conservatives) of being pro-Russian.
Having been left with a weakened U.S. military and foreign policy disasters around the globe, it’s no wonder that Trump wants to see if the Russians can be persuaded to stop their aggression. It may be a false hope, but he seems to think it is worth talking about. In any case, a U.S. military confrontation with Russia in Europe or the Middle East doesn’t make any sense at this time.
We’ve asked the question before, and it’s worthwhile to ask it again, as Obama leaves the presidency. Why was Gerald Horne’s speech about the history and “future” of the CPUSA? Was he saying something about Obama that only he and other CPUSA insiders knew? Did Horne know something special about Obama’s relationship with Davis? Indeed, had information about Obama been provided by Davis to other CPUSA members? And what did the CIA know about Obama’s communist connections to Davis and others?
Horne anticipated that Obama would go down in history because he understood that the CPUSA had been working in the black community for decades, laying the groundwork for Obama’s candidacy.
If Lewis really wants to expose Russian influence, let’s begin with an inquiry into how the CPUSA targeted black intellectuals, entertainers and politicians, by using a CPUSA-controlled and Soviet-funded journal called Freedomways. We can also take a look at Barack Obama’s connection to a Russian agent by the name of Frank Marshall Davis.
Somehow I doubt that John Lewis and his media sycophants will want to conduct a probe into that.
Say you want your Butler to buy some groceries; so you give him your credit card. You can:
Give him an ENUMERATED LIST of what you want him to buy: 1 chicken, 5# of apples, two heads of cabbage, a 2# sack of brown rice, and a dozen eggs. Whatever amount he spends for these enumerated items will be charged to you.
Tell him he may spend on whatever he wants, and ask him to please don’t spend more than 18% of your weekly income. But whatever amount he decides to spend (on pork and other things) will be charged to you.
The first illustrates how our Constitution is written: The items on which Congress is authorized to spend money are listed – enumerated – in the Constitution. To see the list, go HERE.
The second illustrates how a balanced budget amendment (BBA) works: It creates a completely new constitutional authority to spend on whatever the federal government wants to spend money on. And there is no enforceable limit on the amount of spending.
Our Constitution Limits Spending to the Enumerated Powers
Our Constitution doesn’t permit the federal government to spend money on whatever they want. If Congress obeyed our Constitution, they would limit spending to the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution. Since the Constitution delegates to Congress only limited and narrowly defined authority to spend money, excessive federal spending is not the result of a defective Constitution, but of disregarding the existing constitutional limitations on federal spending.
Because everyone has ignored these existing limitations for so long, we now have a national debt of some $20 trillion plus a hundred or so trillion in unfunded liabilities. 1
Various factions are now telling conservatives that the only way to stop out of control federal spending is with a BBA.
Obviously, that is not true. The constitutional answer is todownsize the federal government to its enumerated powers. Eliminate federal departments (Education, Energy, Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, etc., etc., etc.), for which there is no constitutional authority. 2
Since our Constitution delegates only a handful of powers to the federal government, most of what they’ve spent money on since the early 1900s is unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated.
Yet our Constitution is still legally in place; and can be dusted off, read, and enforced by a Repentant People. They can shrink the federal government to the size established by the Constitution which created it.3
Using the Federal “Budget” to Snap the Trap on an Unsuspecting People
Our Constitution doesn’t provide for a budget.
Spending is to be limited by the enumerated powers. Pursuant to Art. I, §9, clause 7, the Treasury is to publish periodic Statements and Accounts of the Receipts and Expenditures. Since the list of objects on which Congress is authorized to spend money is so short, it would be a simple matter to monitor federal spending and receipts.
Do you see that if the federal government is given constitutional authority (via a BBA) to spend money on whatever they want, they are ipso facto granted constitutional authority to exert power over whatever they want?
Oh, Americans! False friends lead you astray and confuse the path you should take. Under the pretext of imposing “fiscal responsibility” with a BBA, they would legalize the totalitarian dictatorship which has been developing in this Country for 100 years.
Creating the all-powerful federal government by Amendment
A BBA changes the standard for spending from whether the object is an enumerated power to whatever the federal government wants to spend money on. 4
So a BBA would transform the federal government created by our Constitution from one of enumerated powers only, to one of general and unlimited powers because it would authorize Congress to appropriate funds for – and hence have power over – whatever they or the President decide to put in the budget!
A BBA Doesn’t Reduce Federal Spending
A BBA wouldn’t reduce federal spending because:
All versions permit spending limits to be waived when Congress votes to waive them; and
Congress can always “balance the budget” with tax increases. Compact for America’s “balanced budget amendment”delegatesmassive new taxing authority to Congress: it authorizes Congress to impose a national sales tax and a national value added tax (VAT) in addition to keeping the income tax.
Americans think, “I have to balance my budget; so the federal government should have to balance theirs.”
They overlook the profound distinctions between the economies of their own family unit and that of the national government of a Federation of States. Our federal Constitution sets up a system where Congress is to appropriate funds only to carry out the enumerated powers; and the bills are to be paid with receipts from excise taxes and import tariffs, with any shortfall being made up by a direct assessment on the States apportioned according to population (Art. I, §2, clause 3).
Americans also think that since States have balanced budget amendments, the federal government should have one. They overlook the profound distinction between the federal Constitution and State Constitutions: 5
The federal government doesn’t need a budget because Congress’ spending is limited by the enumerated powers. Congress is to appropriate funds to carry out the handful of enumerated powers, and then it is to pay the bills with receipts from taxes.
But State Constitutions created State governments of general and almost unlimited powers. Accordingly, State governments may lawfully spend money on just about anything. So State governments need budgets to limit their spending to receipts.
A BBA would have the opposite effect of what you have been told. Instead of limiting the federal government, it legalizes spending which is now unconstitutional as outside the scope of the enumerated powers; transforms the federal government into one which has power over whatever they decide to spend money on; and does nothing to reduce federal spending.
Twenty-eight States have already passed applications for a BBA. Go HERE to check the status of your State. Warn your friends and State Legislators. For a model your State can use to rescind its previous applications, go HERE and look under “Take Action” column, or contact me. Do not let the malignant elite complete their revolution by replacing our Constitution.
1 State governments are voracious consumers of federal funds. THIS shows what percentage of your State’s revenue is from federal funds. Contrary to what RINO State Legislators say, they don’t want federal spending reduced: They want to keep those federal dollars flooding in.
3 Our federal Constitution is short and easy to understand. The only way you can avoid being misled is to find out for yourself what it says. Be a Berean (Acts 17:10-12).
4 Amendments change all language to the contrary in the existing Constitution. Eg., the 13th Amendment changed Art. I, §2, clause 3 & Art. IV, §2, clause 3 because they were inconsistent with the 13th Amendment.
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
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