[Cross-posted from European Tribune – where dissent is NOT troll rated!]
[The diary was cross-posted in part @EuroTrib for the interesting links to the Leave EU campaign set up by UKIP and Tory Conservatives – Oui]
Nothing new under the sun, a concerted force behind a renewed surge of McCarthyism that hit America under the Bush, Obama administrations and firmly established itself under progressives [?] after the Clinton loss in 2016 – Putin did it. As it rumbles on, the Amerian Red States population are riding high with their Hollywood candidate of the extreme right-wing of conservative policy. The Brexit vote in the UK was initiated by the Tory Conservatives. The Tory Conservatives have a strong allegiance to Israel and the Middle East. The Tory Conservatives founded Cambridge Analytica and formed an alliance with Mark Zuckerberg”s Facebook to tilt the American vote by some 15 percentage points towards candidate Donald Trump.
Europe is facing up to a New America under Trump as was displayed at the G6 plus 1 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.
○ The G7 summit looked like it was going okay. Then Trump got mad on Twitter.
○ Mis-Chief In the White House – A Debacle
○ ‘Special place in hell’: Trump advisers blast Trudeau for comments at G7 summit
The irony of it all, seeking to blame America’s deep structured faults on foreign agents … as old as the battles in Greece before Western “civilization” took root. The rot is from within as history shows when the empire fails. It will take decades, if not beyond the “New American Century.”
More below the fold …
Like kids eating candy out of the hands of authoritarian parents …
By Alina Polyakova, Marlene Laruelle, Stefan Meister, and Neil Barnett
IMPLICATIONS FOR TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS
During the Cold War and up to the late 2000s, there appeared to be a broad consensus in Western states in favor of NATO and the EU. Center-right and center-left governments would come and go, but these collective institutions were widely accepted by voters and by mainstream parties. This paradigm is undergoing rapid change on both sides of the Atlantic. Parties that have dominated politics for decades are seen by many voters as “the elite,” and new populist forces are emerging, providing fertile ground for Russian “active measures.”
In terms of maintaining NATO and transatlantic relations, on the British side at least, the threat today is modest. The Conservative party may be myopic in its funding oversight and have some inexplicably pro-Kremlin MPs in its ranks, but it remains firmly committed to NATO.
The Labour party is led by a hard leftist, Jeremy Corbyn, whose sympathies encompass Russia, Iran, Hamas, and numerous other extremist groups. The United States and NATO are low on his priority list. Yet, Corbyn barely controls his own party and has practically zero chance of winning an election: a poll conducted in July showed that 39 percent of voters viewed him as “incompetent” and just 11 percent as “good on the world stage.”88
While Labour moderates will struggle to regain control of the party, Corbyn’s adherence to the radical politics of his student days seems certain to exclude Labour from power. The greatest threat, in this case, comes from a Parliamentary resurgence of UKIP and/or a new pro-Brexit party. In this scenario, disaffected pro-Brexit voters would abandon Labour and the Conservatives and vote in sufficient local concentrations to return insurgent party MPs to Westminster. As it is, Brexit already brings the possibility of a broader disintegration of the EU. Importantly, it also removes British influence from the EU on defence matters, increasing the likelihood that Brussels will develop military structures that compete with and undermine NATO.
RESISTING RUSSIA’S EFFORTS TO INFLUENCE, INFILTRATE, AND INCULCATE
Russia’s network of influence has reached far beyond the vulnerable states of post-socialist Europe. Western countries and political leaders are not immune from the Kremlin’s efforts. While there is no single formula for how Russia seeks to exert and project its power in Europe’s core, the goal of the Trojan Horse strategy is the same: to build a web of allied political leaders and parties who will legitimize Russia’s aims to destabilize European unity and undermine European values. Ironically, while the Ukraine crisis has united Europe and the United States around a cohesive sanctions policy on Russia, it has also incentivized Putin to intensify efforts to infiltrate European polities by cultivating Trojan Horses in an effort to weaken Europe’s resolve.89
European policy makers can and should take common action to expose, limit, and counter Russia’s attempt to use economic leverage and seemingly benign civil society activities to manipulate policy and discourse in open societies. The national governments of France, Germany, and the UK could take up this task through specific actions, as suggested below …
Blaming the Trump presidency on outside forces … wearing your tinfoil hat?
Now, I am going to shift across the pond to discuss how the Russians went about promoting the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom.
Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman who bankrolled Nigel Farage’s campaign to quit the EU, had multiple meetings with Russian embassy officials in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, documents seen by the Observer suggest.
Banks, who gave £12m of services to the campaign, becoming the biggest donor in UK history, has repeatedly denied any involvement with Russian officials, or that Russian money played any part in the Brexit campaign. The Observer has seen documents which a senior Tory MP says, if correct, raise urgent and troubling questions about his relationship with the Russian government.
The communications suggest:
- Multiple meetings between the leaders of Leave.EU and high-ranking Russian officials, from November 2015 to 2017.
- Two meetings in the week Leave.EU launched its official campaign.
- An introduction to a Russian businessman, by the Russian ambassador, the day after Leave.EU launched its campaign, who reportedly offered Banks a multibillion dollar opportunity to buy Russian goldmines.
- A trip to Moscow in February 2016 to meet key partners and financiers behind a gold project, including a Russian bank.
- Continued extensive contact in the run-up to the US election when Banks, his business partner and Leave.EU spokesman Andy Wigmore, and Nigel Farage campaigned in the US to support Donald Trump’s candidacy.
Mr. Banks later bragged that his campaign was inspired and modeled after Donald Trump’s successful romp through the Republican primaries.
Prior to this fp story, no one has mentioned Arron Banks beyond this diary and a few comments …
Mercer’s Attachment to Leave.EU Questioned; Trump’s Donor by Oui @BooMan on March 2, 2017
The Electoral Commission has been urged to investigate whether Nigel Farage’s Brexit campaign broke election law by not declaring the role of a firm of “psychographic” social media strategists used by Donald Trump.
Ahead of the EU referendum, Leave.EU was advised by Cambridge Analytica (CA), a company hired by Trump which uses artificial intelligence to personalise political messages according to the things voters say and “like” on Facebook. But Leave.EU, which was largely funded by UKIP donor Arron Banks, did not declare CA’s role to the Electoral Commission, according to filings for the campaign published last week.
Stephen Kinnock, a pro-remain Labour MP, has asked the UK’s elections and referendums regulator to urgently “investigate whether it breached provisions in the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000“.
CA is backed by Robert Mercer, a billionaire Trump donor, whose daughter Rebekah [Mercer] was part of the White House transition team. He reportedly invested $10m in the rightwing news website Breitbart.
Kinnock questioned Leave.EU’s involvement in “a set of arrangements with a company that seems to be backed by a foreign billionaire and with contributions being made that are not being declared.”
In Martin Longman’s piece, spokesperson Andy Wigmore is referenced … so did I mention him earlier in a diary. Except the link is NOT with Russians but with Steve Bannon, SCL Group , parent of Cambridge Analytica. So we have Tory Conservatives linked to the Breitbart right-wing arm of US Republicans, with the Jewish State of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He has been dubbed the 007 of data analytics and once was pictured in the society pages as the boyfriend of Queen Elizabeth’s cousin.
Nigel Oakes has a track record of working in politics, psychological operations and media campaigns that stretches from post-Asian financial crisis Indonesia to conflict zones to African democracies and the last US presidential election.
Registrations with the British corporate register at Companies House list, Mr Oakes as based in the United Arab Emirates from where he has given addresses for subsidiaries of the Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) enterprises that he founded.
The manner in which he was trust into the spotlight added a new twist to the running saga of Cambridge Analytica, an SCL venture, which is alleged to have used Facebook data to assist the astonishingly effective campaign of Donald Trump to win the US presidency.
Emma Briant, an academic at University of Essex, submitted recordings to a House of Commons committee of discussions with Mr Oakes and Andy Wigmore, a British political campaigner, in which the parallels between Mr Trump’s campaign and methods Hitler were discussed.
“It’s the things that resonate, sometimes to attack the other group and know that you are going to lose them is going to reinforce and resonate your group,” said Mr Oakes. “Which is why, you know, Hitler, got to be very careful about saying so, must never probably say this, off the record, but of course Hitler attacked the Jews.
“He didn’t have a problem with the Jews at all, but the people didn’t like the Jews. So he just leverage[d] an artificial enemy. Well that’s exactly what Trump did. He leveraged a Muslim- I mean, you know, it’s – It was a real enemy. ISIS is a real, but how big a threat is ISIS really to America? Really, I mean, we are still talking about 9/11, well 9/11 is a long time ago.”
Mr Wigmore, who was one of the so-called “Bad boys of Brexit” along with the insurance salesman Arron Banks and Nigel Farage, the former leader of Ukip, and others, also brought up the topic.
“The propaganda machine of the Nazis, for instance – you take away all the hideous horror and that kind of stuff – it was very clever, the way they managed to do what they did,” he said. “In its pure marketing sense, you can see the logic of what they were saying, why they were saying it, and how they presented things, and the imagery.”
Damian Collins, the chair of the committee said the messaging was “extreme” around immigration. “These statements will raise concerns that data analytics was used to target voters who were concerned about this issue, and to frighten them with messaging designed to create `an artificial enemy’ for them to act against,” he said.
SCL military contracts for “weapons-grade” communication tactics …
How often was Arron Banks referenced @EuroTrib? From the archives …
Irony: still dead? By Bernhard in 2016 – Ukip-backed Brexit campaign employs EU migrants to rally support .
One more comment …
○ Two rootless, soulless parties have cleared the way for Ukip by Helen @EuroTrib - Oct. 12, 2014
DamnIt … really takes some fantasy to see the blood-soaked hand of Vladimir Putin behind all of our sores when things are getting tough on the political highway. Searching for facts isn’t that easy anymore, especially when one refuses debate and shuns an opposite view.
In conclusion while I’m at it, one more source of the scourge of inequality and the wealthiest in support of us deplorables, the weak and the poor …
Arron Banks talks a good populist game, complaining to The New York Times about the UK’s obscene levels of wealth inequality. But he’s also already started using the database of a million voters the campaign built up to hawk insurance.
Banks was introduced to Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP and the face of the Leave.EU campaign, by another millionaire, Jim Mellon, who made his wealth from uranium mining in Russia in the nineties and doesn’t even live in the United Kingdom. Mellon also donated around £100,000 to Leave.EU.
These aren’t outliers. A study last year found that just ten wealthy donors made up more than half the donations for EU referendum campaigns, with pro-Brexit donors making up six of those ten. One of these donors was Peter Hargreaves, the founder of a financial services company, who donated £3.2 million to the Leave.EU campaign.
It’s a recurring pattern. Some of UKIP’s biggest donors in the past have been wealthy property developers and club owners. Mr. UKIP himself and self-styled man of the people Nigel Farage is a millionaire former commodities trader who has profited handsomely from his time in the European Parliament, and is practically a walking caricature of upper-class British poshness, with his autobiography featuring passages like this one about how he got his start in commodities trading:
I ate dozens of oysters, drank champagne cocktails and relaxed amidst brays, barks, guffaws and good yarns. I paid visits to the Stock Exchange, Lloyds, discount houses, looking for my niche. I knew just one thing. I did not want to be known as “someone’s boy,” and my father was a well-known character on the Exchange . . . The solution was found as so many solutions are, on the golf course.
We find similar things with other prominent Brexit campaigners. Boris Johnson, for instance, earned £1.3 million over his first three years as mayor, and described the £250,000 he earns for writing a newspaper column on the side as “chicken feed.” The face of anti-elitism is surprisingly elite.
This isn’t limited to the United Kingdom. In the Netherlands, the largest donor to Geert Wilders’ far right Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) is the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an American organization that funds various conservative and Islamophobic outlets, including Jihad Watch. The center gave the PVV €108,244 in 2015, the largest individual contribution in the Dutch political system in a single year, though it’s donated to the party over the course of a number of years, as well as paying for Wilders’s trips to the United States.
The center, in turn, has received money from a whole host of wealthy American donors. These include Aubrey Chernik, a software developer worth nearly $1 billion; the Sarah Scaife Foundation, controlled by the late Richard Mellon Scaife, whom the Washington Post in 1999 dubbed “the most generous donor to conservative causes in American history“; and the Bradley Foundation, which gave nearly as much money between 2001 and 2009 to conservative causes as the Scaife and various Koch foundations combined.
Another big-money-backed, right-wing organization that came to Wilders in a time of need was the Middle East Forum, which paid a large sum into Wilders’s legal defense fund when he was being prosecuted for hate speech. The forum gets money from the Bradley Foundation, the Koch-funded Donors Capital Fund, and numerous others.
More about Josh Rogin– journalist – who aired the accusation Arron Banks as a Russian Trojan Horse in November 2016 … just after the release of the Atlantic Council paper – the McCarthyism article published by The Washington Post accusing blogs and media of a Russian plot [PropOrNot stunt] – and the later foolhardy effort by the Hamilton 68 Dashboard machinations …
See also the effort on the border of the Thames by the oligarchs who profited from the Russian people during the Goldman Sachs Yeltsin years of the 1990s. Those days will not return to the Russian Federation.
The neoconservative Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), the successor organization of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), has just published another open letter [cached] to Congressional leaders that implicitly endorses what I have called the “Kirk-Menendez Wag the Dog Act of 2013,” known officially as the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 (S. 1881). I say implicitly, because it doesn’t come right out and urge support for the specific bill, which AIPAC and the Israel lobby, for which AIPAC is the vanguard, are flogging as hard as they possibly can. But the intention is pretty clear.
… and in November 2016 Josh Rogin once again:
See the pattern? Wealth meets political corruption in Western Civilization …
All of this write-up is nice, but the basic reason for the rise of political populism in Europe and America – Western Civilization – is the hate for foreigners, also called refugees or immigrants in the 21st century.
I have written extensively about the ties between America’s War on Terror and the spread of terror across the globe. OBL’s attack on America has lasting blow-back due to the stupidity of Bush/Cheney and the pro-Israel cabal. The support given directly by the Jewish State of Israel to Islamophobes in Western Civilization has caused this extreme rise in right-wing populist parties. The UKIP and Geert Wilders are gaining the political fruits of European policy to accept the refugees fleeing the wars in the Middle East and North Africa. The natural disaster in the offing due to Climate Change causing drought and famine, will lead to more hardship in underdeveloped nations. The children of these human beings will seek a better life by traveling to the well developed and rich nations. Building walls between peoples of the planet, how very short-sighted an evil can one become. It is what it is. Politics is just like the weather, everyone talks about it, but no one can change the course of history.
Grin and Bear It … Donald Trump is home grown!
[ Disclaimer: I never had a meeting with a Russian Ambassador, never attended an event ]
[ under auspiciën of the Russian Federation nor have I accepted money from any source ]
[ to write my independent opinion and analysis. I do admit I have had a dinner date with ]
[ former acquaintance Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. ]