Global Independent Analytics
Vladimir Golstein
Vladimir Golstein

Location: USA

Specialization: international relations, Russia

What do you get when you mix a woman and a Jew? …. Putin.

If you are a western publisher, use this tool: just take any title, and add "Putin is behind it." It works!

French had a long and venerable tradition of solving complex puzzles of existence by reducing it all to the baneful influence of Eros: Cherchez la femme. It is hardly surprising coming from the French, who bequeathed two famous phrases to the world: “Je t’aime, and “L’Amour.” On this issue the French of all political persuasions agree, it is what unites extremely right and extremely left: there has to be a woman involved. Come to think of that, maybe it were French who wrote the Bible and the story of Eve, originally called, Ève.  

Not being afflicted with the French libido, the rest of the continent, their eastern neighbors in particular, have decided that the issue is less sexual and more racial/ethnic: Cherchez le Juif. There has to be some Jewish intrigue: be it a political movement like Marxism, or an economic movement as banking, or an information movement like the media, or an ideological movement as the Zionists and their protocols. Whatever the case, The Jews must be behind it. Here the extreme right and the extreme left meet again: it is suffice for them to point towards Rothschild, Soros, or toward any other zombie look-alike, like Madeleine Albright for example, who for some obscure reason tries to convince herself that she was a non-Jew, but who had to eventually discover her roots.

Such explanations may convince people prone to the extreme right or left wing outlook, but what about a good old liberal who reads The New York Times or The Guardian? These publications do cater to their educated and enlightened readers, which basically means, to women and the Jews.  They can’t afford to ostracize their readership with all these blatantly anti-PC theories. They aren't Trumps, after all. So what kind of explanations can they provide? Going to the root of economic inequality, social injustice, and foreign-policy imperialism would be too complicated and too challenging for their audience, most of whom had clearly benefited from the aforementioned economic inequality, social injustice, foreign-policy imperialism.

Luckily, an all-embracing explanation had been found, and it has a name:  Putin.

Putin is so different, he is so Russian, and he can be turned into the object of mockery or malice so easily. He is not one of those modern political leaders, who fit the politically correct profile of the metro-sexual Hollande. Nor does he reveal the profound understanding and openness needed to embrace the animal world, in the manner of Cameron, nor is he like Merkel who is usually so comfortably and unthreateningly sexless, that her little weakness for the ISIS head-choppers from the Middle East whom she exports in great quantities, can be explained away by pointing to her profound understanding of the issues of third world, colonialism, and Orientalism.

So what a gift for the liberal press-- this good old macho man, who also happened to be Russian! Now they can express all their venom, paranoia, and frustration without feeling the slightest pang of a politically correct conscience.

Indeed, it has become a magic formula to explain everything by pointing to Putin. Mishandling and destroying Ukraine: Putin. Violence and displacement in the Middle East: Putin. Refugee crisis in Europe: Putin. 

And now we have two more scandals, obviously fueled and created by Putin and the Russians. The Panama papers that expose the shady financial deals of rich and famous, do not provide a single document connected to Putin, yet, he is clearly guilty by association. His money has to be there, as most of the western newspapers declared triumphantly. Think about it. The blaming finger is pointing at him as both the beneficiary of the Panama shady deals, but also as someone who benefits from revealing the scandal. “You are damned if you do, and you are damned if you don’t,” as the saying goes.

And now we have the referendum in Netherlands, whose citizens voted against the EU bureaucrats: Putin is also behind the Dutch rejection of EU’s myopic policy. Here is a great example of this liberal paranoia, coming from Putin-basher extraordinaire, Anne Applebaum, whose Russophobic publications can easily fill up the recently discovered Massive Black Hole of the Universe. Applebaum’s  article, just published in The Washington Post, tells you all there is to know: “The Dutch Just Showed The World How Russia Influences Western European Elections.”        

Obviously, Applebaum’s allegations, similar to other forms of scapegoating, are based on nothing. Applebaum does not know nor does she have any proof that the Russians had influenced the Dutch. In fact, the very idea that the Dutch can be manipulated sounds rather insulting and patronizing to the people of the Netherlands. The nation that went out of its way to protect Spinoza and Anna Frank, the nation that was not afraid to publish unpopular tracts or fight the Spanish Empire for independence, this nation has all of a sudden had turned into zombies attuned to a subliminal Russian message.  How?

Explaining the voters’ decision, Applebaum writes: “How many of them were moved by Russian disinformation? It’s hard to say.” Why does she announce it then? 
Nor does Applebaum hold back from pointing to the usual shibboleths: “Russia Today and Sputnik, Russia’s state propaganda website.” Frankly, what is this magic incantation “state-sponsored” all about?  It literary reminds me of the epithet “Nazi,” or “Zionist” that is supposed to settle the argument once and for all. Isn’t BBC – state sponsored? Isn’t State Department (which has State in the title) state-sponsored? Aren’t Pentagon and NATO state-sponsored? Yet, we are constantly fed with the endless amount of verbiage, produced by the likes of General Philip Breadlove of NATO, Ashton Carter of the Pentagon, or Jane Psaki of the State Department, the verbiage that is diligently being reprinted by the state and corporate sponsored media. Are we expected to trust or dismiss them? Why can’t Applebaum apply her critical approach to the propaganda she gets from Nuland, or from other Washington-located and Washington-sponsored entities, and apply her skepticism to the news she hears about Russians in Syria, or to the Russians behind the Dutch plane, or to the Russians hiding their billions in Panama? Well, I guess, all States are equal, but some States are more equal than others. That’s what being “exceptional” is all about… in the pig-ruled world of Orwell’s Animal Farm, that is.

Applebaum ends her foray into the Russian impact on Dutch politics with the following insight: “Small minorities of angry people, when well organized, can out shout the divided, fearful, apathetic centrist majority in Western Europe — and Russia is prepared to help them do it… We learned a parallel lesson in the 1930s, but it seems we need to be taught it once again.” This parallel with the 1930s that no one writing for the liberal press can avoid, speaks for itself. So, according to Applebaum, there is a dangerous “small minority” inside the country, and there is the big secret facilitator in the East (Russia) who helps them bring the country down. If that’s not a typical anti-Semitic charge which we’ve heard from all sorts of Nazis ranging from Goebbels to McCarthy, railing against the dangers of Judeo-Bolshevism, that is, of the local Jews, facilitated by Russian communism, then I don’t know what is. Welcome to the club, Ms. Applebaum, I am afraid you not just learned, but internalized the lessons of the 1930s. 

This knee-jerk Russophobia, from which the western press can’t really recover, reminds me of a long lasting Soviet joke. The articles of Soviet propaganda publications traditionally had titles, which were rather abstract, neutral, and non-informative. So the Soviets would entertain themselves by imaging these titles under the picture of a sex act. As long as you have Pravda with you, the hour long ride in metro would be guaranteed to be fun. Just imagine: “Negotiations in Washington”; “Great Achievement of Ukrainian Farmers”; “Baltic Sailors Arrive to Cuba”;  “Let’s Realize the Decisions of XXII Congress”; “Lenin’s Lessons are Burning in Our Hearts.”

Well, the titles of the western publications are usually too concrete for this joke, but I propose another possibility. Just take any title, and add: Putin is behind it. To demonstrate how much fun one can have, let’s take a look at the current titles from The Guardian.

“Climate change: Melting ice sheets changing the way Earth wobbles on its axis” - Putin is melting the ice again.

“Jessica Chastain: ‘It’s a myth that women don’t get along’” - It is Putin’s propaganda that perpetuates this myth.

California Romantic Cliffside proposal ends with a helicopter rescue – and a meth arrest “ - Putin provided meth and tried to abduct the fiancée.

Environment Flint water crisis prompts schools nationwide to test water for lead” - It is about time to save our waters from Putin’s poison.

Dennis Hastert Former speaker accused of molesting four boys” - Putin made him do that.

“How do I tell our sons about their father’s criminal past?” - Just blame it on Putin: he is both the criminal and the father.

“David Cameron: blame me for mishandling Panama Papers news” – But let’s all blame Putin for creating the Panama Paper crisis in the fist place.

So obviously, a long and illustrious career lies ahead for Ms. Anne Applebaum. As long as she stays close to the State Department sponsored scrip of “Putin did it.”

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