Tackling propaganda: “It’s a continuation of methods used during the Cold War” | EU Observer |

Online propaganda by terrorist organisations and countries such as Russia aim to incite fear and divide Europe. MEPs debate this afternoon a report calling for stronger countermeasures and more collaboration between EU states. We talked to report author Anna Fotyga, a Polish member of the ECR group, about the impact of this disinformation and how to counter it. “We have to invest much more in these campaigns to fight radicalisation,” she said.

What impact have these propaganda efforts had? There are many theories about what happened in the US, but do they have the power to affect elections in Europe?

Why has Islamic State been successful in its online efforts to reach out to young Muslims in Europe? How can Europe defend itself?

Anna Fotyga: ‘We have an asymmetric war against western society coming from all directions’ (Sept. 2014 )

As countries all over the world discuss how they can work together to tackle the threat posed by ISIS, MEPs will debate on 17 September what the EU can do to improve the situation in the Middle East. Anna Fotyga, a Polish member of the ECR group and chair of the security and defence subcommittee, shared her views ahead of the debate, adding that she expects a tough hearing for Federica Mogherini, the EU’s incoming foreign affairs chief.

Should Europe focus on a strong common defence approach considering the current conflicts close to the EU’s borders?
The challenges we face are considerable. The key issue is to find consensus on how to reasonably tackle the challenges both in our southern and eastern neighbourhood.

Does the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) require a different kind of response from Europe?
Yes, absolutely. We have an asymmetric war against western society coming from all directions. We never know what is going to strike us: militants in the Eastern part of Ukraine or the radical Islamism of ISIS.

Talking about a radical poisoning the European discussion contra Russia from her Polish view. Drip, drip, drip …

Anna Fotyga – former Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs | Wikipedia |

On 9 May 2006 Anna Fotyga was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland by President Lech Kaczyński , replacing Stefan Meller. The opposition criticised her office for pursuing a policy of isolation in relation to Russia and Germany.

On 7 September 2007, Fotyga was dismissed from her post but re-appointed again on the same day; in this way the prime minister and president avoided her being dismissed by a vote of censure prepared by the Civic Platform three months earlier.

In July 2014 she became chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defence.

Her position on foreign affairs is congruent with the policy stance of PiS, based on the concept of Poland as a strong, independent country, poised to confront Germany or Russia when necessary. She has also pursued a policy of close alignment with the U.S.

Following the fall of the Kaczynski administration in 2007, she was succeeded by Radosław Sikorski as foreign minister of Poland.

Earlier diary by Frank Schnittger …

Merkel, Putin & Obama: The changing balance of power – Aug. 2014

News updates in recent days …

OSCE Meeting in Vienna – EU Statement on Freedom of the Press in Russian Federation
OSCE Representative warns of negative consequences for investigative journalism when Investigative Powers Bill becomes law in the UK

More below the fold: Updates …

  • WhoIs living in a fantasy world?
  • New Century McCarthyism
  • Max Blumenthal Dissects Poorly Researched WaPo Article About PropOrNot
  • A closer look at the “allies” and Neo-McCarthyism and the US Media
  • Group Behind PropOrNot

[Update-1] :: WhoIs living in a fantasy world?

Off to the Races by Shaun Appleby @MotleyMoose on Sept. 10, 2013 [cached version in webarchive]

The distinction between a Chapter VI and Chapter VII resolution is vitally important and it is disingenuous of Russia to pretend that the lesser would satisfy under the circumstances. Vladimir Putin himself, dabbling in diplomacy, has further entrenched Russia behind this obstacle:

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that a plan for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons stockpile will only work if the United States agrees not to use force.

    Putin told reporters on Tuesday that the plan “can work, only in the event that we hear that the American side and those who support the USA, in this sense, reject the use of force.”

    Syria plan will work if US rejects force: Vladimir Putin AP via NDTV 10 Sep 13

This seems an overreach on Putin’s part; perhaps revealing a weakness of strategy or personality. Whichever is the case it seems vital that Congress and the American public give the Obama administration the support they need to meet this important challenge and help reassert diplomacy as an effective, viable alternative to military conflict.

Comment to article:

I Agree (2.00 / 9)

I see most current events as ‘fresh history’ and from that perspective much of the spin seems even more trivial and shallow. The new twin pillars of congressional authorisation and UN resolution are pretty clearly giving the rest of DC whiplash and the media nose-bleeds. As far as traditional ideological divisions it’s “dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria.”

The neo-cons are off on Fantasy Island. The Left is now aligned with Putin, Rand Paul and the Tea Party; and some of the stuff coming from them has been just precious. Fox News doesn’t know what is coming next or whom to book. I have had a few good chuckles but it seems to me that the Left is just as likely to render itself irrelevant in its frantic opposition to Obama as the dysfunctional GOP already has done. A two-fer.

This business in the UN could drag on for a while if we’re not careful. Russia has a long history of obfuscation. But I honestly don’t think Putin reckoned Obama would call his bluff. We’ll see.

by: Shaun Appleby @ Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 16:10:58 PM CDT

Of course posts @GOS …

The Putin Doctrine
No, Putin isn’t being smart. Obama is running rings around him

Can’t defeat such predetermined bs by any arguments, insights or even facts!
It’s nice writing in an echo chamber and hearing applause –”4s”-from the crowd.
Is that what has become of a progressive and close-knit community of the pond? So sad.

Fake News Alert: CNN Finally Admits “White Helmets” Staged Fake Video by Tony Cartalucci

Even the alt-right neo-nazis are now aligned with Russia in the threat to the Baltic States, Poland and Ukraine. Just shaking my head in disbelief.

Putinism and the European Far Right | IMR|

[Update-2] :: New Century McCarthyism

Mainstream Reporting Foggy While MoA Smeared As ‘Russian Propaganda’ Site

As the above news dissecting shows it is quite possible to beat the (lazy) New York Times reporting in correctness and thereby quality.

But when one tries to be diligent and not solely on one side, one can be sure to end up as denounced and hated by at least one if not all sides of a conflict. This website, MoonofAlabama.org, is now listed as “Russian propaganda outlet” by some neoconned, NATO aligned, anonymous “Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service” prominently promoted by today’s Washington Post. The minions running that censorship list also watch over our “Russian propaganda” Twitter account @MoonofA .

PropOrNot: Identifying & Combatting Russian Online Propaganda | OUR ALLIES | Founded Nov. 6, 2016

EU Disinformation Review
Polygraph Fact-Check
Russia Lies
CEPA Infowar Project
Digital Forensics Research Lab
To Inform is to Influence
Boycott Russia Today
Active Measures
Real or Satire?
Fort Liberty Hoax Sites
Fake News Watch

TARGETS :: We’ve blacklisted the following websites …

What’s next? Call for CENSORSHIP?

WhoIs PropOrNot.com

PropOrNot is a Resource

We call on the American public to:

  • Be aware that Russia is trying to supplant actual journalism (that has editors and fact checkers who impose accountability for mistakes), with fake-“media” online propaganda that Russia influences or controls.
  • Spread the word: Russia is attempting to manipulate the American people through online propaganda.
  • Obtain news from actual reporters, who report to an editor and are professionally accountable for mistakes. We suggest NPR, the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, VICE, etc, and especially your local papers and local TV news channels. Support them by subscribing, if you can!

We call on Congressional leadership, and the Obama administration, to:

  • Immediately begin investigations to determine whether any U.S. government action or inaction has allowed Russia to manipulate the US domestic political process, and interfere in the 2016 election, through online propaganda.
  • Immediately begin investigations to determine whether, by action or inaction, the American public has been deprived of related information that they need to vote in an informed manner.
  • Work with our European allies to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT financial transaction system [source: Euromaidan Press – LMAO], effective immediately and lasting for at least one year, as an appropriate response to Russian manipulation of the election.


A guide to Russian propaganda. Part 1: Propaganda prepares Russia for war
Why Americans fall for Kremlin Propaganda

About the author: Kseniya Kirillova is a Russian journalist that focuses on analyzing Russian society, political processes in modern Russia and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. She writes for Radio Liberty and other outlets and is an expert of the Center for Army, Conversion, and Disarmament Studies and the Free Russia foundation.

[Update-3] :: Max Blumenthal Dissects Poorly Researched WaPo Article About PropOrNot

Washington Post Promotes Shadowy Website That Accuses 200 Publications of Being Russian Propaganda Plants by Max Blumenthal / AlterNet

A shady website that claims “Russia is Manipulating US Opinion Through Online Propaganda” has compiled a list of websites its anonymous authors accuse of pushing fake news and Russian propaganda.

Despite the Washington Post’s charitable description of PropOrNot as a group of independent-minded researchers dedicated to protecting the integrity of American democracy, the shadowy group bears many of the qualities of the red enemies it claims to be battling. In addition to its blacklist of Russian dupes, it lists a collection of outlets funded by the U.S. State Department, NATO and assorted tech and weapons companies as “allies.” PropOrNot’s methodology is so shabby it is able to peg widely read outlets like Naked Capitalism, a leading left-wing financial news blog, as Russian propaganda operations.

Though the supposed experts behind PropOrNot remain unknown, the site has been granted a veneer of credibility thanks to the Washington Post, and journalists from the New York Times, including deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weissman to former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer, are hailing Timberg’s story as Pulitzer-level journalism. “Russia appears to have successfully hacked American democracy,” declared Sahil Kapur, the senior political reporter for Bloomberg. The dead-enders of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president have also seized on PropOrNot’s claims as proof that the election was rigged, with Clinton confidant and Center For American Progress president Neera Tanden declaring, “Wake up people,” as she blasted out the Washington Post article on Russian black ops.

PropOrNot’s malicious agenda is clearly spelled out on its website. While denying McCarthyite intentions, the group is openly attempting to compel “formal investigations by the U.S. government, because the kind of folks who make propaganda for brutal authoritarian oligarchies are often involved in a wide range of bad business.” The group also seeks to brand major progressive politics sites (and a number of prominent right-wing opinion outlets) as “‘gray’ fake-media propaganda outlets” influenced or directly operated by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). It can then compel Facebook and Google to ban them, denying them the ad revenue they rely on to survive.

[Update-4] ::

Among the websites listed by PropOrNot as “allies” are a number of groups funded by the U.S. government or NATO. They include InterpreterMag, an anti-Russian media monitoring blog funded through Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, an arm of the U.S. government, which is edited by the hardline neoconservative Michael Weiss [1]. Polygraph Fact Check, another project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty aimed at Russian misinformation, is listed as an “ally.” So is Bellingcat, the crowdsourced military analysis blog run by Elliot Higgins through the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the U.S. State Department, various Gulf monarchies and the weapons industry. (Bellingcat is directly funded by Google, according to Higgins)

Google, Facebook, Twitter … the NSA privatized.

h/t jfl @MoA

[1] neoconservative Michael Weiss in 2008, now editor @InterpreterMag

Neo-McCarthyism and the US Media | The Nation – May 2015 |

The crusade to ban Russia policy critics – by James Carden

Large parts of eastern Ukraine lie in ruins, and relations between the United States and Russia have perhaps reached their most dangerous point since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

And yet a special report published last fall by the online magazine The Interpreter would have us believe that Russian “disinformation” ranks among the gravest threats to the West. The report, titled “The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money,” is a joint project of the Interpreter and the Institute for Modern Russia (IMR), a Manhattan-based think tank funded by the exiled Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky [2].

Who Are These Guys?

Weiss and Pomerantsev [3] are an unlikely pair. Weiss, youthful yet professorial in manner, has become a nearly constant presence on cable news because of his supposed expertise on, among other things, Russia, Syria, and ISIS. A longtime neoconservative journalist, he began his rise to cable-news ubiquity as a protégé of the late Christopher Hitchens.

After working with Hitchens, he made his way to the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), a London-based bastion of neoconservatism that, according to a report in The Guardian, has “attracted controversy in recent years—with key staff criticised in the past for allegedly anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant comments.”

[2] See my finding of the connect between The Interpreter, Henry Jackson Society and Khodorkovsky in 2014 at the height of the Maidan protests and the coup d'état in Kiev: Ukraine Partners Chesno (Honestly) - USAID
[3] From the link, CEPA’s Information Warfare Initiative conducted in partnership with the Legatum Institute – which employs
Anne Applebaum

Bellingcat from USAID funding to the Atlantic Council, meet Higgins, he started the Brown Moses blog in 2012

Wroclaw Global Forum [note the presence of CIA asset Radek Sikorski]
Bio Eliot Higgins

Nice to read the view of former Defense Minister Chuck Hagel:

Talk to Putin

As it ramps up its troop presence in Europe’s eastern flank, NATO must be careful not to get embroiled in a “Cold War buildup” with Russia, and the next US president must make it a priority to engage directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chuck Hagel, a former US defense secretary who currently serves as a distinguished statesman at the Atlantic Council, said in Washington on May 10.

NATO is planning to deploy four combat battalions—two American, one German, and one British—of roughly 1,000 troops each in Poland and the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; preparing to conduct major military exercises that will include a significant number of US troops in Poland this spring; and on May 11, US military officials will inaugurate a ground-based missile interceptor site in Romania that will be part of a larger missile defense shield. All of this has provoked a sharp response from Russia, which has said it will add three divisions of roughly 10,000 troops each to its western and southern flanks by the end of the year.

Warning that “we can find ourselves very quickly in another Cold War buildup,” Hagel said he was “not sure there is real strategic thinking here. It is a tactical ricocheting from crisis to crisis.”

[Update-5] :: Group Behind PropOrNot

From an analysis, one group that is behind the New McCarthyism of the Cold War 2.0 …

War On The Rocks

    “In a world in which relative power levels are narrowing and means are diluted, America’s historical black hole, a bifurcation between policy and operations, must be closed. Given that our country expects great sacrifices from those toiling at the tactical level, much more can and should be expected at the summit. It is my expectation that War on the Rocks will help fill in the black hole.”

    -The War on the Rocks Mission Statement, as articulated by Contributing Editor Frank Hoffman

War on the Rocks is a platform for analysis, commentary, debate and multimedia content on foreign policy and national security issues through a realist lens. It features articles and podcasts produced by an array of writers with deep experience in these matters: top notch scholars who study war, those who have served or worked in war zones, and more than a few who have done it all.

This is what sets us apart from similar web publications: experience. In fact, we are confident that there is no other web-based publication on war and foreign policy out there that has been blessed with this much experience from its collection of regular contributors.

Among our 70+ regular contributors are people who have worked on every continent in the world (aside from Antarctica, so far). They have commanded ships, bargained with militias, led patrols, managed alliances, called for fires (ten of them are combat veterans), and negotiated treaties. They include former diplomats, officers, NCOs, intelligence professionals, and some of the most established scholars in the world studying war, conflict, and international politics. We have seen the worst battlefields of our times. And we have studied war at some of the world’s greatest institutions of higher learning.


Realism teaches us how to think about the world, rather than what to think about it. It is a broad term that encompasses people of many opinions with a variety of party affiliations but all of whom believe in the centrality of fear, honor, and interest as drivers of inter-state affairs. Politics is power. À la Morgenthau, we understand power as “anything that establishes and maintains the power of man over man …. from physical violence to the most subtle psychological ties by which one mind controls another.” As such, while we focus on armed force, we do not dismiss ideas and social control as mechanisms for power.

WOTR Founders Club

Their latest gem as PropOrNot was launched this month …

Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying To Destroy Our Democracy by Andrew Weisburd, Ckint Watts and J.M. Berger

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