The other day I featured excerpts from an article by Toby Westerman, editor-in-chief and publisher of International News Analysis (INA) Today.
In another column, ‘Weapons of Thought Destruction’ dated February 23, 2010, Westerman describes how leftist propaganda works and why conservative counterpoints are denounced. Emphases mine below.
The tools which the Moscow elite use are as current as the Internet and YouTube, and their goal is as old as Lenin and the Bolsheviks …
Most “experts” continue to approach Moscow as a work in progress, a regime needing only the right words to produce a responsible, peaceful actor on the world stage.
Yet, blind eyes are being turned toward a series of threatening developments to which the “experts” pay little public attention and discuss even less. These include the Moscow-Beijing military/political alliance; Moscow’s aid to not only Iran but also to Syria and North Korea; and the support – even inside Russia as well as in Latin America — for the Venezuelan Marxist dictator, Hugo Chavez.
The blindness toward the Moscow ruling elite is no accident, but is carefully orchestrated and cultivated within the Kremlin itself.
Westerman then describes the tactics the Kremlin uses around the world, particularly in the West. When you read it, does it remind you of the BBC or the major networks in the US and other Western countries? Interestingly, the propaganda still runs in much the same way as Yuri Bezmenov described it in the 1980s. Westerman explains:
As in the Soviet era, the Moscow elite are employing a multi-layered approach to internal and external political manipulation.
Coordinating these efforts is the Main Department of Domestic Politics, an “independent subunit” of Russia’s presidential administration, which oversees a vast and intricate web of local governments, political parties, and think tanks.
From the Main Department, Russia’s elite can both form opinion and then poll it, i.e., analyze what they have created.
These analyses of concocted public opinion, based upon manufactured information in a controlled news environment, are then fed to Western, and especially American, “experts” who then form their own assessments based upon Moscow’s predetermined strategies.
These “experts” publish in learned periodicals, which are then cited by a host of journalists and pundits in front page articles and editorials across the nation.
In this way, alternative views are quickly dismissed as extreme or uninformed.
Just as Lenin in the early 20th century embraced the emerging film industry, today’s Kremlin elite attempt to use the Internet (liberty.ru, and others) and You Tube to spread their propaganda.
Certain journalists have been offered money to reprint articles, and English-language websites occasionally appear which spread the targeted message of the Russian elite.
Those deemed as “experts,” or who are recognized as opinion makers, receive special attention.
The Valdai Discussion Club, founded in 2004 by then-president Vladimir Putin, hosts annual meetings with Russian experts around the world, especially from the United States and Europe. Former ambassadors, editors and journalists from influential news organizations, and top personnel from influential think tanks, speak directly with top Russian government and business leaders and gain unique insights from these exclusive contacts.
These insights, however, are contoured to the priorities of the Moscow elite.
Propaganda and the self-loathing American
In another of Westerman’s articles, ‘Birth of the Anti-American American’, he traces the history and impact of Soviet propaganda techniques in the United States.
America did not always produce citizens who loathed the nation and identified with mass murders and dictators. The America-hating elite of the Obama administration is part of an ongoing process to turn America against itself.
It is a process which also produces a nexus of propaganda and espionage. The two are never far apart …
Until around 1920, the United States of America was the universally acknowledged land of opportunity and beacon of freedom to the world. While certainly not perfect, America stood out proudly from the social chaos and dictatorial regimes which held sway over much of the earth.
While the promise of America made life more difficult for oppressive political elites around the world, only one dictatorial leader decided to take action …
Shortly after the communist seizure of power in Russia in 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin commissioned a tough fellow revolutionary, Willi Münzenberg, to establish a propaganda network in the West, with the United States as one of its prime targets.
… the “masses” must be led by those who demonstrate correct thinking, and, in 1902, he published What is to be Done?, in which he advocated revolution led by an uncompromising elite. Lenin had implicitly broken with Marx’s idea of inevitable class insurrection …
The uninformed “masses” must be guided …
Along with political elitism, Lenin demanded that religion, if it was allowed to exist, would serve the state. Today’s socialists/communists around the world similarly seek religious submission to the demands of government. In the United States, the attack on personal conscience regarding abortion is one example of socialism demanding primacy over belief …
Both Lenin and Münzenberg were keenly aware of the power of the emerging media, especially the development of film presentations. Münzenberg’s network quickly grew and spread into the United States. Lenin’s revolution and policies were presented in the best light possible – mass murders and imprisonments were ignored – and anti-communist governments were assailed.
In the United States, Münzenberg’s network worked to attack every social defect. The admittedly flawed 1920 murder trial of two Italian born anarchists, Fernando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, became the vehicle for the first truly world-wide anti-American propaganda campaign …
The Münzenberg network worked unceasingly to tarnish the image of the United States around the world, and when Sacco and Vanzetti were execution in 1927, riots erupted from London to Tokyo. America’s beacon of freedom now shone less brightly.
Münzenberg’s propaganda empire made him the “Red Millionaire.” His financial success and influential communist propaganda, however, earned him enemies in western Europe and Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union. Münzenberg was murdered by person or persons unknown in France in 1940. The propaganda machine founded by Münzenberg, however, outlived him, and took on a life of its own …
The most damaging aspect of Lenin’s attack on the United States is what is referred to a as “The Politics of Self-Loathing,” in Lies, Terror, and the Rise of the Neo-Communist Empire: Origins and Direction. In many ways Lenin’s anti-American propaganda has become part of American life.
Generations of literary, film, and theater artists, as well as academics, school teachers, and journalists have accepted and propagated the line of hostility to America which extends back to Lenin and his revolutionary elitism.
This anti-American campaign also produced individuals willing to injure the security of the United States in favor of Communist powers …
More recently, anti-American propaganda enabled Communist Cuban recruiters to obtain the services of Ana Belen Montes, an influential Defense Department Analyst, who admitted in 2001 that she was spying for Cuba, and Walter Kendall Myers, a State Department veteran, and his wife, Gwendolyn, who plead guilty in 2009 to serving Cuban intelligence for thirty years.
The similarity of the anti-American theme is striking: the U.S. is the source of the world’s problems, society must be transformed with wealth spread more equitably, all opposition must be silenced, and God must be banished from the market place of ideas. It began with Lenin, initially propagated by Münzenberg, and continues to this day.
The theme of America, a land of racism and greed, as the perpetrator of evil around the world is an accepted secular gospel to many Americans. To protect the world, some “liberals” advocate the surrender of American sovereignty to an all-powerful world Socialist/Communist government.
God, the necessary author of all “human rights,” has been ejected from nearly all political discussion, and all reference to social morality, which underpins everything we do as a nation.
Because most private and public schools are more interested in advocating “politically correct” modes of thinking than teaching even an elementary knowledge of America and its past , many young adults share “liberal” misconceptions about our nation, its institutions, and history …
The necessary truth is that all “human rights” come from the God who loves us — what the state gives, the state can take away. Absolute “rights” can come only from an absolute authority – God. The state is a necessary evil which must be kept within strict bounds.
Think of it. Every time your children watch television or go to the cinema, they receive a (sometimes benign — even worse) dose of anti-Americanism. Every time they sit down in a classroom, they learn more about America’s failings than successes.
I know a number of teachers in primary and secondary schools — state as well as church-affiliated — in the US and England who are ashamed to be European and believe that the Left is correct on all these points. They learn this at university as well as at teacher-training days. They read ‘important’ left-leaning publications (e.g. New York Times, The Economist), which also help to shape their thinking.
However, we cannot leave the blame exclusively with teachers and the media. As you know, we are all affected by these influences from news, books and film. As my better half says, ‘Take it in but don’t be taken in by it.’
That said, please ensure you spread the word about the manipulative and false media messages we receive. Most people are unaware of their history.