Last September, in the Web magazine AlternativeRight.com, Nina Kouprianova wrote an intriguing article titled Who's Afraid of Russia Today? As an "alternative right" spokeswoman, Ms. Kouprianova thinks Russia's 24/7 English-language news channel (Russia Today) provides encouragement for "the burgeoning Patriot movement" here in America. And what encouragement, indeed! In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center is going after the Russian channel on account of its support for Right Wing extremists.
Given the Leftist taint of the Southern Poverty Law Center, what are we to think? Has Russia Today been unfairly maligned? According to an explanatory article on the SPLC Website, "the Kremlin-financed television channel has devoted considerable airtime not only to coverage that makes Russia look good, but to coverage that makes the United States look bad." Of course, nobody should be surprised at this, given the Kremlin's longstanding rivalry with the United States. What is interesting, however, is the new approach of Moscow's anti-American rhetoric - from the Right. According to the SPLC Website, "Over the past year and a half, Russia Today has reported with boosterish zeal on conspiracy theories popular in the resurgent 'Patriot' movement.... Its slickly packaged stories suggest that a legitimate debate is under way in the United States about who perpetrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and about President Obama's eligibility for high office."
It appears that Moscow's TV channel is suggesting (however indirectly) that the U.S. Government was behind the 9/11 attacks; - and would also like to see a constitutional crisis over President Obama's birth certificate. The Kremlin has long sought to demoralize and cripple their "main enemy" by every means at its disposal. Saying bad things about the capitalist system is Moscow's stock and trade. For those who understand the game, it is hardly necessary to point out that the entire 9/11 Truther movement, in point of fact, is a tapestry of useful idiots and agents of influence whose activities may be characterized by that eminent pioneer of Right Wing Bolshevism, Lyndon LaRouche, who began his career as a member of the Socialist Worker's Party teaching dialectical materialism at New York City's Free School, and later founded a Right Wing Marxist Party (the United States Labor Party). His frequent meetings with Soviet representatives over the years did not end with the Soviet Union. He has continued to meet with Russian "representatives," with occasional trips to Moscow.
There is a picture, easily accessible on the Web, of long-time LaRouche associate Webster Tarpley sitting next to Russian Gen. Leonid Ivashov during the 2005 Axis for Peace Conference in Brussels. Ivashov, who served as the Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces on Sept. 11, 2001, stated at the conference: "The organizers of those [9/11] attacks were the political and business circles interested in destabilizing the world order and who had the means necessary to finance the operation." The Russian general further argued, "We have to look for the reasons of the attacks in the coincidence of interests of big capital at global and transnational levels...."
Well of course, the evil capitalists were behind it all. Such are the talking points of every Bolshevik, at all times, without the need for direct instructions from on high. This "truth," in one form or another, is constantly being packaged and passed along to the useful idiots, tools, and agents of influence who spread the infection throughout society. And make no mistake; the anti-capitalist infection has taken root, as anyone can see. Russia Today is no minor broadcast outlet. As the SPLC points out, "the Moscow-headquartered Russia Today has a large global audience tuning in via cable, satellite and the Internet. In North America, Europe and South Africa, some 200 million paying viewers - including a growing number in the United States - have access to the network."
It is worth noting that Russia Today has produced segments with the notorious 9/11 Truther Alex Jones, who once said to Webster Tarpley (on air), "Our information is everywhere." And that is how Kremlin disinformation works. It is not a function of quality, but quantity; and Jones has been the perfect mouth-piece. Inciting his radio listeners against finance capital in the language of a revolutionary agitator, Jones says "9/11 was an inside job" and that the United States has become a "deep tyranny." A close observer of the Jones phenomenon, Cliff Kincaid (of USA Survival News), has said, "Jones has much more in common with the Left than the Right." Kincaid noted that Jones is a fan and friend of Lyndon LaRouche, and furthermore: "Why is he on Russian television defending their foreign policy? Why has MSNBC called this man a member of the 'New Right'?"
In the tangled web of today's politics, where economic sabotage has its parallels in ideological sabotage, you must always look for the hidden connections and telltale signs that agents of influence are at work. The most sophisticated disinformation machine in the world has been the KGB and its successor organization (FSB/SVR). Nina Kouprianova, in her Alternative Right article, wants us to laugh at the idea of Russian agents of influence - as if the history of the last several decades never happened. Russia Today, she says, "is not much different than the BBC.... Furthermore, the idea that private ownership of massive media conglomerates somehow guarantees objectivity is simply utopian - to state the painfully obvious."
But that's not really the point, Ms. Kouprianova. The BBC is not the mouth-piece of a murderous dictator at the head of a police state. For that matter, a private media corporation like ABC or Fox News is not the state, however slanted their presentations may be. There is an important difference between a private corporation and the state. Private corporations cannot send millions to death camps, or build a system of collective farms on a foundation of genocide, or threaten half the world with nuclear annihilation. No, Ms. Kouprianova, as Friedrich Nietzsche once said, the state is "the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: 'I, the state, am the people.'" But the state, more than anything, is not the people. If it has broken its bounds, usurping the private sphere, it is a destroyer of peoples. Whatever the state says, warned Nietzsche, "it lies - and whatever it has, it has stolen. " There should be no room in the heart of the true Right (alternative or otherwise) for state control of any television channels. The state should remove its paws from the economy and from the media; that is, if the people are to remain free.
Furthermore, American "patriots" should not serve as apologists for the Kremlin's English-speaking propaganda tentacle. Those who attack America and its institutions, favoring the institutions of a foreign enemy, do not merely insult our intelligence but undermine the integrity of public discourse. A random lie may be harmless when there is no guiding strategy behind it; but a coordinated campaign of lies, begun by secret agents, perpetuated by dupes, is no child's play. The game threatens our national unity, our prosperity, the viability of our internal order. But then, how else would a foreign enemy provoke civil war in America?
Jeffrey Nyquist is the President of the Strategic Crisis Center and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Political Science at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.
Originally published at FinancialSense.com on April 8, 2011.
The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.