Monday, December 18, 2017

What's the difference between CNN,BBC,ABC,CBS,Foxnews and a Goebbels-Schnauze ?

Dear reader,

just a very short blog entry.

>>The original Volksempfänger VE301[1] model was presented on August 18, 1933 at the 10. Große Deutsche Funkausstellung in Berlin. The VE301 was available at a readily affordable price of 76 German Reichsmark (equivalent to two weeks' average salary), and a cheaper 35 Reichsmark model (which was even sold on instalment plan [2]), the DKE38 (sometimes called Goebbels-Schnauze – "Goebbels' snout" – by the general public) fitted with a multisection tube, was also later produced, along with a series of other models under the Volksempfänger, Gemeinschaftsempfänger, KdF (Kraft durch Freude), DKE (Deutscher Kleinempfänger) and other brands.<<
          source: Wikipedia

Back in the 1930s commercial radio was just about 10 years old, when it was taken over by the propaganda division of the Nazi regime.


They used a very popular invention in order to spread their propaganda. Initially the equipment to receive 'the Fuehrer's voice' was quite expensive, so they mass produced,cheaper models with the goal to supply every household with the daily dose of their Fuehrer's and his talented speaker Goebbels' hypnotic messages.

The message was spoken into a microphone, either recorded or transmitted live , and went in the listener's ear without any context or remarks by journalists. As if the person addressed was standing next to the speaker without any other persons in the room which could object to this or that argument, tell a slightly different or even a contrasting story. Without any other facts or opinions present and without a good education that would enable the recipient to detect any falsehood and/or contradictions in the speaker's address, that person will get easily convinced that the speaker is right and the claims he/she made are factual and correct.

German radio was just about 10 years old, a teenager, but it's 2017 and television is around since 60+ years. Television is broadcasting politician's speeches live.

Recently perhaps with additional subtitling and/or a sign language translator which is clearly a technical improvement. We are living in the age of the Internet and new television sets are now 'home media centers' which can connect to the Internet.

However, politicians's speeches are transmitted almost exactly the way as some 80 years ago, without 'live fact checking', although it's technically possible to retrieve stored information (text/data/video/audio) on any topic mentioned in a speech and its technically possible to add additional information on those 32" and bigger screens.
Bloomberg TV and other channels are combining live TV with additional data for years now.
It's even easier when TV sets are connected to the Internet to combine live broadcasts with additional factual information, not just subtitles. It's technically possible to show archived footage of politicians' older statements or to display text, data or info-graphics which indicate that claims made by the politician are not entirely correct, half-truths or outright fantasy.

example:

That would be perhaps the future of television.
Currently however, if viewers are lucky, a lengthy speech is analysed by journalists and/or political pundits after the event, but how many people, except nerds, have switched channels by then ?

Not only would this journalistic addition make fact checking on the fly easier for viewers, but it would also improve national security by making it harder to tell  'foreign narratives' convincingly by skilled actors.

Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV [Wikipedia]

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Der Glaube an die Führungspersönlichkeit vs Faktenwissen

Lieber Leser,

es ist unbestreitbar, daß diese Sammlung von einzelnen Blogbeiträgen häufig etwas mit aktuellen Tagesmeldungen zu tun hat. So ist auch dieser Beitrag einem aktuellen Umstand geschuldet, obwohl er sehr wohl auch einen anderen, vorherigen noch etwas vertieft. Es handelt sich dabei um den der Manipulatoren, welche Ihre Medienaufmerksamkeit kennen und der jetzt bereits ein paar Monate alt ist, wobei dieses Jahr so mancher Medientag wie ein Medienmonat von z.B. 2015 vorkommt und eine turbulente Medienwoche wie ein Jahr aus vergangener Zeit anmutet. Nicht nur, daß die aktuelle Präsidentschaft des jetzigen US Präsidenten die Grenzen menschlicher Medienaufmerksamkeit austestet, sondern auch sehr hohe Anforderungen an eigene Standfestigkeit und der Verwurzelung in der Realität stellt. Anforderungen, welche an alle Weltbürger, insbesondere aber die der USA gestellt werden, weil derzeit versucht wird die Menschen von einer Scheinrealität zu überzeugen.

Es empfiehlt sich vorab die Lektüre dieser Artikel:




>>Felix Svetov, a writer who spent time in Stalin's prison camps as a child and who lost his father in the purges, was present at the writers meeting. He said Putin's comment "does not correspond with reality." Putin is a typical KGB type, he added. "If the snow is falling, they will calmly tell you, the sun is shining."<<
         Quelle: Putin's Career Rooted in Russia's KGB [Washington Post, 30.1.2000]


Au historischer Sicht es geradezu ein Anschauungsunterricht für all diejenigen, die wissen wollen wie es möglich war, daß in den Jahren 1933 und folgende es Millionen von deutschen Bürgern gab, die sich von Reden und Gehabe eines geschickten Redners und vorherigen wenig erfolgreichen Malers haben täuschen lassen. Es ist dabei unbedingt wichtig alle späteren Ereignisse aus der Betrachtung zu lassen und nur vom Wissensstand 1933 auszugehen. Dies zum einen als Hintergrund und zum anderen ein oberflächlich betrachtet völlig anderes Unrechtsregime, was auch unbedingt alle Menschen in seinem Herrschaftsbereich von der absoluten Richtigkeit seiner Ideologie überzeugen wollte. Wir reden hier nicht von gewöhnlichen Politikern, die auch allzu gerne Fakten beschönigen, Sachverhalte verkürzt darstellen oder bestimmte Zahlen aufbauschen und andere, weniger genehme, kleinreden oder auslassen. Wir reden hier nicht über kleinere "Beschönigungen", um das eigene Politikpaket an den Mann bzw. die Frau zu bringen, sondern wir reden von der Kunst eine komplette Erfahrungswelt, eine neue Scheinrealität für die benötigten Untertanen zu erzeugen. Wir reden von einem gewünschten sekten- oder kultartigen Zustand, wo nicht Überzeugung durch Sachargumente angestrebt wird, sondern der feste Glaube an eine Führungsperson. Eine totale Hingabe an eine Person, die nicht überzeugen möchte, sondern totale Hingabe oder Aufgabe der eigenen Positionen verlangt, eine Person die keinen Widerspruch duldet, totale Loyalität von anderen verlangt, aber selber keine gegenüber seinen Untergebenen hat.

Es wurde hier bereits im Zuge der Notwendigkeiten einer neuen Energieunabhängigkeit Europas bereits kurz aufgeführt, daß nebst dem Nazi Regime auch der sowjetische Geheimdienst KGB als Vollstrecker der Diktatur "der Partei"(kommunistischen) höchst daran gelegen war eine Scheinrealität nach dem Gusto "der Partei" zu etablieren, wo Menschen dazu gezwungen werden sollten alles nach dem Willen "der Partei" auszurichten. Wenn jemand auffällig wurde, indem er eine von der Parteilinie abweichende Meinung äußerte, wurde er zunächst beobachtet und dann wurden Gegenmaßnahmen ergriffen. Dabei ging man so weit um unliebige Personen als "Geisteskranke" zu titulieren und auch zu behandeln, indem man sie in Sanatorien steckte und mit Medikamenten "platt spritzte". Natürlich gab es auch andere Bestrafungen wie Arbeitslager, Gefängnis oder man wurde einfach durch unterschiedlich sadistische Methoden ermordet. Aber ist eben wichtig zu begreifen, daß die Regierung der UdSSR durch ihre Vollstrecker an der Etablierung und Aufrechterhaltung einer Realität nach ihrem eigenen Geschmack interessiert war , wo niemals etwas sein konnte, was nicht sein durfte. Also wenn es z.B. irgendeine Knappheit an Lebensmitteln oder Gebrauchsgütern gab (und es gab ständig eine Mangelsituation, weil das Planwirtschaftssystem niemals und nirgendwo funktioniert hat) wurde nicht nur die Presse instruiert nicht darüber zu berichten oder gar nur in irgendeinem Zusammenhang zu erwähnen (Es durfte z.B. im Unterhaltungsprogramm des DDR Fernsehens auf Geheiß des zuständigen Ministeriums nicht das Wort "Fleisch" verwendet werden, wenn dieses grad mal wieder knapp geworden war in den staatlichen Einzelhandelsgeschäften) Es wurde in den kommunistischen Diktaturen eine totale Gedankenkontrolle angestrebt, wo es eben nur zwei Sorten von Menschen geben konnte: totale, der Parteilinie ergebene Menschen oder aber eben "Abweichler" die bis zu deren physischen Vernichtung verfolgt wurden. nebenbei bemerkt gab es Verfolgungen von Juden auch in der UdSSR (Ärzteverschwörung) und im kommunistischen Polen in den 1960er Jahren, wodurch es zu jeweils verstärkter Emigration kam.

Es ist vielleicht auch etwas zu irreführend die Existenz der kommunistischen Geheimdienste wie KGB und Stasi, aber auch aller anderen, weniger bekannten aber ziemlich ähnlich "gestrickten", auf deren Auslandsspionagetätigkeit zu reduzieren. Natürlich kennt fast jeder die berühmten James Bond Filme mit den meist waghalsigen Aktionen zwischen dem besten Geheimagenten ihrer Majestät und eben den "anderen", aber dadurch geht der Blick dafür verloren, daß diese östlichen Dienste viel mehr Personal eingesetzt haben um ihre eigene Bevölkerung nicht nur strengstens zu überwachen, sondern eben durch schwere Sanktionen wie Einweisung in geschlossene Anstalten, hohe Gefängnisstrafen, Arbeitslager (Gulag), diverse Todesstrafen oder auch "nur" die ständige Kontrolle von Reisen auch innerhalb des eigenen Landes bzw. Verbote derselben die Menschen in ständiger Abhängigkeit vom Wohlwollen der "allwissenden" Regierung der Kommunisten zu halten. Auch wenn es in solchen Systemen ein Gremium war, welches die Macht hatte - das so genannte Politbüro - so unterstand dieses sehr häufig einem besonders autokratischen Führer im Zusammenhang mit einem besonders loyalen Vollstrecker, also seinem Geheimdienstchef. Ob nun in der Nazi Diktatur, oder in der kommunistischen war es auch immer ein "praktischer Nebeneffekt", daß die Untertanen für alle Verfehlungen und Mißstände die Vasallen des jeweiligen "glorreichen und unfehlbaren" Führers verantwortlich machen konnten. Natürlich nur jeweils in der eigenen Gedankenwelt oder höchstens in der eigenen Familie, weil ansonsten man ja ziemlich sicher sein konnte aus der Gesellschaft so oder so entfernt zu werden. Zu Zeiten des Krieges in der Nazi Diktatur auch in der so genannten "Heimatfront" war so manches auch über Kriegsverbrechen bekannt oder es wurde manches gemunkelt, allerdings häufig verbunden mit dem Spruch:"Wenn das nur der Führer wüßte", also als Ausdruck einer Unwissenheit des "Führers" über die dunklen Machenschaften seiner Paladine. Diese Annahme wonach der "Führer" von solchen wohl noch immer als "Schweinereien" empfundenen Taten nichts wisse, ist ein Indikator der perfekten Funktion der staatlichen Propaganda. Die Untertanengehirne wurde trainiert nicht nur an den (jeweiligen) Führer wie Hitler oder Stalin zu glauben, sondern ihn zu lieben, ihn zu vergöttern. Die jeweiligen kommunistischen oder nationalsozialistischen Untertanen wurden jahrelang konditioniert daran zu glauben, daß ihr Führer nicht nur ein zeitlicher Bekleider seines von der Verfassung beschriebenen Amtes sei, sondern vielmehr ein allwissender, guter Hirte seines Volkes dessen Schicksal ganz eng mit dem des Volkes verbunden ist und der allein im Stande ist das Schicksal des Volkes zu bestimmen und nicht etwa die anderen von der jeweiligen Verfassung dafür vorgesehenen Organe wie z.B. das Parlament.

Es ist auch kein Zufall, daß solche Alleinherrscher mit Allwissenheitsanspruch (oftmals aber eher unterdurchschnittlich wissende, aber dafür mit "Bauernschläue" ausgestattete Personen) und ihre Propagandaapparate die anderen Verfassungsorgane oder/und die Verfassung selbst attackieren. Dies mit dem Ziel die Untertanen davon zu überzeugen, daß diese "alten Institutionen" überflüssig seinen bzw. vielmehr sogar hinderlich sind um die neuen, besseren Ziele schneller zu erreichen. Der eingeforderte Glaube an den (wie auch immer ideologisch gestrickten) Führer geht einher mit dem Unglaube an die "alten" Institutionen. Eine Einzelperson, meist ohne großes Faktenwissen aber dafür ausgestattet mit einem großen Maß an Faktenignoranz bzw. Faktenresistenz, die besser für das Wohl des Volkes ist als eine ganze Heerschar von Experten die den bisherigen "Apparat" ausmachten. natürlich darf die, oftmals fast tödliche,  Faktenignoranz des großen Heilbringers wie Stalin nicht ans Licht der Öffentlichkeit gelangen, weil dies den Mythos des begnadeten, oder gar "von der Vorsehung bestimmten" Führers(Hitler), zerstören oder auch nur ankratzen könnte. Ein besonders eindeutiges Bild ergibt die des späteren "Generalissimus" Stalin, der sich in seiner Propaganda als der Übervater des Großen Vaterländischen Krieges verstand und seine Untertanen von dieser Rolle überzeugte. Auch wenn dieser brutale georgische Kleingangster durch die Wirren der so genannten Oktoberrevolution und durch seine Machenschaften an die Macht gelangte Brulalinski in Wirklichkeit (also nach Faktenlage) ein Ignorant z.B. genauster und aus verschiedenen Quellen stammender Geheiminformationen war, welche den genauen Tag des Angriffs deutscher Truppen auf die UdSSR beschrieben. Der als "geniale Führer" des sowjetischen Volkes verbrämte georgische Brutalmensch hatte jedoch sogar noch weitere schwere Fehler begangen, die auch ihren großen Anteil an dem raschen Vormarsch deutscher Truppen bis sogar kurz vor Moskau  hatten. Im übrigen hat sich der in der Propaganda so große Stalin sogar in der Folge des deutschen Vormarsches auf die sowjetische Hauptstadt aus dem Staub gemacht und fürchtete gar kurzzeitig seine Absetzung oder gar Hinrichtung. Die Diktatorengehirne dieser Welt fürchten deswegen die Fakten wie der Teufel das Weihwasser, weil durch eigene Faktenkenntnis die Menschen in der Lage sind die Aussagen, oftmals blanke Zwecklügen eines Politikers mit Alleinherrschaftsanspruchs, zu überprüfen und so ggf. zu der Erkenntnis zu gelangen, daß Sie veräppelt wurden oder gerade dabei sind veräppelt zu werden. Aus der Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts wissen wir, daß es gerade solche gewählten "Heilversprecher" waren, die nicht nur ihre Völker mit einer Mischung aus "lügen und glänzen" quasi verzauberten, sondern im Ergebnis oftmals das Gegenteil von dem erreichten, was sie propagierten. Also statt versprochenen Heil fürs eigene Volk eben das genaue Gegenteil erreichten, wobei das Gegenteil auch schon mal Krieg und damit verbunden: Massensterben sein konnte.

Im Sinne der Vermeidung an sich unnötiger menschengemachter Katastrophen ist es wichtig zu erkennen, daß politische Führer auch schon mal kriminelle Geister sein können, welche mit den entsprechenden Machtmitteln ausgestattet, nicht eiligeres im Sinn haben die Kontrollmechanismen einer Verfassung außer Kraft zu setzen und mit Hilfe einer möglichst gleichgeschalteten Presse, eines Polizeiapparates und eines widerspruchslosen Militärs ihre eigenen,oftmals sehr schädlichen Ziele zu verfolgen. Niemand würde auf die Idee kommen einen bereits verurteilen Schwerkriminellen auf die Wahllisten einer politischen Partei zu setzen, aber wie schaut es aus, wenn solche Menschen bislang nur nicht "erwischt" wurden ? In der Praxis sieht es leider oft so aus, daß aus Gründen falsch verstandener Loyalität oder aus Gründen des eigenen Machterhalts auch eindeutig nicht nur parteischädliches, sondern sogar landschädliches Verhalten so lange protegiert wird, bis eine schwere Schädigung bereits eingetroffen ist. Im Falle Stalins war es dann irgendwann selbst für alte Weggefährten zu spät noch Widerstand zu leisten und diese liefen immer Gefahr irgendwann und sei es nur als “Exempel” zur Terrorisierung anderer eliminiert zu werden. Wie sehr solche Diktatorengehirne auf sadistische Weise an Machterhalt und Machtsteigerung interessiert sind zeigt sich u.a. auch an den in seiner Datscha abgehaltenen Trinkgelagen mit besonderen Tanzeinlagen. Jeder seiner anwesenden kommunistischen Kader mußte sich auf Geheiß des Diktators zum Affen machen lassen und zum Beispiel vor ihm zur Belustigung der anderen Anwesenden tanzen. Andere Diktatoren wie Hitler räumten auch alte Mitstreiter aus dem Weg in der Angst diese könnten eines Tages ihm die Macht streitig machen oder auch nur den eigenen Plänen behindernd im Wege stehen. So auch natürlich beim irakischen Diktator Hussein, der wohl in Stalins Personenkult und Terrorwillkür ein Vorbild sah. Im Falle Stalins ging diese ständige massive, weil oft lebensbedrohliche Einschüchterung aber am Ende zu Ungunsten des Diktators aus, denn es traute sich zu lange niemand die Räumlichkeiten des am Boden liegenden, dahinsiechenden Diktators zu öffnen und ihm damit vielleicht das Leben zu retten. Viele diese Machtmenschen ertragen keine Störung ihrer einbetonierten Ansichten und erwarten statt kollegialer Zusammenarbeit persönliche Huldigungen. So auch im Falle des aktuelle Präsidenten der USA, dessen Kabinett sich wohl auch bereits einmal gezwungen sah ihn öffentlich zu danken um in seinem Kabinett tätig zu sein.

Obwohl es jedem der Faktenlage kennt vorher eingeleuchtet hat ist die pure Kenntnis, der Einsatz der eigenen Ratio oftmals nur im Zusammenhang mit der Bereitschaft eigener Opfer, und sei es auch nur der möglichen Wiederwahl in Gremien der Kollegen oder durch durch die Wählerschaft, möglich effektiv solche zu allem entschlossenen Machthabern bzw. Machtstrebern Knüppel zwischen die Beine zu werfen. Insbesondere wenn es grundlegende Werte wie Landesverrat oder dem drohenden Zerfall der staatlichen Einheit geht kann nur ein beherztes Eingreifen die angestrebten, für alle in der Bevölkerung schädlichen Ziele solcher Einzelpersonen verhindern. Nebenbei gesagt sind viele der westlichen Verfassungen bewußt auf Gewaltenteilung ausgerichtet, um eine Diktatur einer Einzelperson oder einen kleinen Gruppe zu verhindern. Unsere Demokratien verwirklichen den Anspruch auf Zeit gewählte Vertreter einzelner Interessengruppen innerhalb des ganzen Volkes zu sein und nicht vom Volk losgelöste Autokraten, welche die Bürger nicht als solche betrachten, sondern als Untertanen.

Es wichtig zu verstehen für diejenigen, welche wohl bereits über genügend Faktenkenntnisse verfügen um Lügen als solche zu erkennen und ausweisen zu können, daß diejenigen die nicht über gleichen oder ähnlichen Wissensstand verfügen nichts dafür können, wenn sie dem guten Verkäufer zweifelhafter oder falscher Informationen "vertrauen". Je mehr versucht wird, diejenigen von der Tatsache der falschen Anhängerschaft zu überzeugen, desto mehr spielt man den Verbreitern von solchen "einfachen Lösungen" (bzw. "Wahrheiten") in die Hände. Erkenntnis muß reifen und kann nur durch zielführende Information d.h. Erweiterung des Kenntnisstandes erfolgen. Insbesondere auffällig sind die derzeitigen Bestrebungen der aktuellen US Administration bzw. ihrer medialen Helfer beim TV Sender Foxnews die Grundlagen des eigenen Rechtsstaats in Frage zu stellen. Es wird versucht die Zuschauer davon zu überzeugen, daß die eigenen Vertreter des Rechtsstaats, namentlich die Ermittlungsbehörde FBI, sowie auch die zur Abwehr äußerer Gefahren tätige CIA quasi Handlanger der Opposition bzw. der gescheiterten Präsidentschaftskandidatin Hillary Clinton seien. Es wurden bereits vor einigen Monaten Nazi Vergleiche angestellt und die Ermittlungsbehörden als "deep state" verunglimpft und jetzt aktuell tauchen wirklich unerträgliche Vergleiche des FBI mit dem KGB auf. Es ist dabei wichtig zu verstehen, daß viele Leute der Zielgruppe solcher Diffamierungen mit dem Ziel das FBI als neutrale, den Rechtsstaat hochhaltende Institution zu schädigen, tatsächlich Glauben schenken, weil die keine Ahnung (mehr) haben, was denn KGB bedeutet bzw. was die Zielsetzung und die Methoden der kommunistischen Geheimdienste waren.

Nun kann man und sollte man zwar mit Nachdruck die Vertreter des Rechtsstaats verteidigen, aber viel besser ist es die Zielgruppe für die Rufmordkampagne quasi im Schnellgang zu schulen, was die brutalen Methoden des KGB selbst und seiner Vasallendienste ausmachte. Wenn man diese Zielgruppe mit dem Bildmaterial über die sowjetischen Greuel begangen von sadistischen Schlächtern, welchen denen des Nazi Regimes kaum nachstanden und im Gegenteil sogar über die wesentlich längere Zeit der Herrschaft der Kommunisten noch einige mehr Opfer "produzierten". Die Bürger der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika sollten nebst den Realitäten der Terrorherrschaft der Kommunisten auch mehr darüber erfahren wie es gerade das FBI war, welches bestrebt war die Tätigkeiten dieser Organisation und anderer östlicher Dienste in den USA selbst und darüber hinaus in unseren westlichen Gesellschaften zu stören bzw. zu verhindern. Es gab ja immerhin einige spektakuläre Erfolge zu verzeichnen und jeder US Bürger sollte eine Nachschulung erhalten was genau das FBI tat um die Gesellschaft vor Bösewichten wie den Mafiaclans und eben der feindlichen Freiheitsfeinde zu schützen. Letzteres wird wohl noch eher, wenn auch vielleicht in nicht ausreichenden Maße, bekannt sein und bedarf nur einer "Auffrischung", während für viele Nichthistoriker zwar mittlerweile die Nazi-Greuel bekannt sein dürften (u.a. wegen Filmen bzw. Serien wie "Holocaust" oder "Schindlers Liste"), aber dagegen der Alltag in den Gulags der Sowjets, die Methoden der Überwachung und der Bestrafung bei den Regimen der kommunistischen Länder leider doch nicht gleiche Bekanntheit genießen. Auch wenn aus dramaturgischen Gründen Verfilmungen von Romanvorlagen nicht immer ein ganz akkurates Bild von der Faktenlage vermitteln, so können solche Visualisierungen gerade Menschen, welche nicht viel lesen können oder wollen schneller zumindest für den gezeigten Teilaspekt der Geschichte interessieren. Nicht nur in den USA sorgten dramatische Verfilmungen immer wieder für eine Sensibilisierung der Gesellschaft wie auch seiner politischen Führer wie z.B. auch der Film "The Day After", welcher seinerzeit den US Präsidenten Reagan nicht nur erschütterte, sondern auch zu Abrüstungsvereinbarungen mit den Sowjets inspirierte. Oftmals sind es solche Dramen, welche erst durch ihre "abgebildete Realität" einen echten und bleibenden Eindruck generieren, auch mit den o.g. Schwächen was die Genauigkeit betrifft.

Was ist der Grund dafür die traditionellen Säulen des Rechtsstaates und der Sicherheit angreifen zu wollen, werden sich viele fragen ? Die ganze Aktivität zur Herstellung einer Scheinrealität, wonach das FBI jetzt das neue KGB sein soll, dreht sich um die Ermittlungsaktivät des neuen Sonderermittlers Robert Mueller, welcher eingesetzt wurde um zum einen die Aktivitäten der Russen in Sachen Wahlkampfbeinflußung 2016 zu untersuchen, der aber auch gleichzeitig in Richtung "Behinderung der Justiz" ermittelt und nach einigen Indizien (er geht sehr diskret vor) wohl sich auch mit Finanzverstrickungen der Präsidentenfamilie befaßt. Einige ehemalige Mitstreiter des Präsidenten wurden bereits mit strafrechtlichen Vorwürfen konfrontiert und erwarten jeweils ihren Prozeß im Frühjahr 2018. Es geht sicher die Befürchtung um, daß weitere Erkenntnisse gewonnen werden könnten, welche nicht nur politisch für den derzeitigen US Präsidenten gefährlich werden könnten, sondern ggf. ebenfalls zu einer strafrechtlichen Anklage gereichen. Es wird daher versucht, das FBI als "Bösewicht" erscheinen zu lassen, statt die Ermittlungen insbesondere in Richtung Rußland zu unterstützen, nicht nur um die Vergangenheit aufzuklären, sondern auch um eine Wiederholung zu vermeiden. Politische Bundgenossen des Präsidenten, sowie insbesondere einige TV und Radiomoderatoren wie z.B. auch der Verschwörungsexperte AlexJones von Infowars werden eingespannt oder verrichten aus eigenem Antrieb heraus dieses propagandistische Arbeit. Auf die Bundesrepublik übertragen hieße das, daß manche Privatsender wie z.B. angenommen SAT1 und einige kleinere Sender und Gazetten das Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) bezichtigen im Auftrag der SPD gegen Frau Merkel zu arbeiten, wenn deren Verstrickungen in z.B. einen Parteispendenskandal hätten untersucht werden sollen. Das wie gesagt im Zuge einer umfassenden Ermittlung wegen möglicher Rechtsverstöße. Es wird verlangt, daß das Ermittlerteam keinesfalls andere politische Kandidaten als die zu untersuchenden unterstützt haben dürfen und so manchem fällt in diesem Zusammenhang eine absurde Forderung der in den USA tätigen italienischstämmigen Mafia ein, die verlangt haben könnte die Ermittler des FBI hätten doch bitte nichts gegen Herrn Capone oder die Fünf Familien haben dürfen. Es wurden nicht nur Ermittler des FBI aus dem Team Mueller entfernt, sondern es wurden wohl auch nicht “ganz” rechtmäßig Teile aus deren privater Korrespondenz publik, die belegen sollten, daß man da Vorbehalte gegen Capone, ach nein, Trump hatte.
Daß ein solcher Verbalangriff auf den Rechtsstaat mit Gleichsetzung FBI = KGB dann auch noch "zufällig" genau die Argumentationslinien des Kreml aufgreift, bzw. wie im Falle "Infowars" sich die Russen sogar darüber beschweren, daß dessen Macher sich ohne ausdrückliche Genehmigung deren Produktionen einfach kopiert ist dann schon doch sehr eindeutig.

Da im Rahmen einer für 2015 bereits geplanten Geschichtsserie über europäische Wirtschaftsgeschichte schon bereits Blogartikel z.B. über das Lend-Lease Abkommen mit Videomaterial veröffentlicht wurden, bietet es sich an diese kleine Serie mit Bilddokumenten aus Archivmaterial rund um Solschenizyns Buch "Der Archipel Gulag" zu komplettieren. Auch wenn der russische Erfolgsautor zuletzt auch vom russischen Präsidenten Putin für den neuen russischen Nationalismus vereinnahmt wurde. Es kann nie schaden, wenn Diffamierungskampagnen gestartet wurden die Grundlagen zum "abkaufen" der Falschinformationen durch (visuelle) Faktenvermittlung zu erschüttern. Das sind wir nicht zuletzt den Opfern der ebenfalls grausamen kommunistischen Diktaturen schuldig, deren Peiniger ebenfalls durch lächerliche Vergleiche quasi entschuldigt bzw. verharmlost werden !


P.S.
In Kürze wird es weitere, bereits länger geplante Artikel u.a. zur Kandidatenkür und der Verantwortung politischer Parteien für die Zukunft ihrer Länder geben.



Lektionen von Hannah Arendt zu Trump - „Die Massen flüchten in die Fiktion“ [Cicero, 25.2.2017]


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Information and disinformation

Dear reader,

the attacks on the outcome of several election in Western countries are not just a thing of the past which need to be investigated.

It's an ongoing effort to influence policies of our states regarding their attitudes towards other governments which benefit when certain more 'friendly' policies are being implemented.

It's important however to note that such attacks have more chances of achieving their intended goals, the more vulnerable the targeted society is. In general a well educated society can't be fooled as easily as a society where large chunks of the population have no or just a very basic education.

Politicians across the EU are now aware that such influence campaigns are taking place and 'cyber' attacks are now being taken a bit more seriously than before when they were perceived as being performed by fat, lazy and/or criminal IT nerds. It now became clear that although that kind of perpetrators are still active they can be instructed or hired by state agencies in order to perform their malicious activities.

What has not been that clear so far is that the influence operations have not only a 'cyber' component, but also include 'media orchestration'. It's also not that clear that it's a bidirectional process. Bidirectional means that it is important to secure that your own public is kept well and correctly informed and it's important to inform the citizens of the 'attacker'. Countermeasures however should not copy the disinformation campaigns of the 'attacker', but should enable the inhabitants of such 'info aggressive states' to finally get a clear and factual picture not only about us, our society and politics, but also of their own country. When those aggressive governments are shutting down all factual sources of information and succeed to feed their people with 100% government propaganda it should be seen as a defensive measure to fight the often misleading and aggressive internal propaganda which is often used to justify or even instigate real aggression with military means. In general it's easier to justify a military aggression when the own population is convinced that those to be attacked are hideous, mean or aggressive. When an image is created which doesn't reflect reality an easy 'solution' of a suggested problem is much easier to implement.

The bidirectional character includes knowledge also for our politicians and at least interested parts of the population what those regimes are telling their population about us by actively monitoring their output channels which include their domestic ones. Some people in the West call for shutting down the propaganda channels targeting a foreign audience, which is of course a 'quick and dirty' solution. This is however not an option for outlets intended for their domestic audience. The better solution for both would be to record the most obvious lies, disinformation, 'stories' or whatever it's being called and to seek out the truth about such pure fabrications or half-truths.

The Russian people deserve to get access to the 'full picture' of Russian foreign realities which are often a bit or even completely different from the narrative the Kremlin tells their citizens. Without getting the 'full picture' the Russian citizens can be manipulated to hate peace loving Ukrainians and other European states which are already EU members. Concerning Ukraine they pretend that they want to protect 'pro-Russians' against fascists (iE the democratically elected new government). Many stories told by the main propagandists are completely false

or they are openly threatening other nations:

Russian TV host: Russia is the only country with capability to turn U.S. into ‘radioactive ashes’ [Washington Post, Mar 16 2014]
(The intention might have been to deter the Obama administration to re-take the Crimean peninsula or to send military aid to the Ukrainian government)

Currently the Kremlin's propaganda outlets are allowed to distribute their version of the 'truth' (their narrative) almost unchallenged and as Mr Janda from Czechia points out the current sums spend on countering Kremlin BS are nothing more than a joke or a fig leaf compared what the Kremlin is prepared to spend.


Admittedly it's easier to see the need to match own defense spending to those of adversaries, because military hardware and troop numbers are easier to grasp than invisible weapons of war which target the minds of own and foreign audiences

>>When it was established in 2005, ANO TV-Novosti invested $30 million in start-up costs to establish RT,[14] with a budget of $30 million for its first year of operation. Half of the network's budget came from the Russian government; the other half came from pro-Kremlin commercial banks at the government's request.[42] Its annual budget increased from approximately $80 million in 2007 to $380 million in 2011, but was reduced to $300 million in 2012.[94][3][95] Russian President Vladimir Putin prohibited the reduction of funding for RT on 30 October 2012.[96]
About 80 percent of RT's costs are incurred outside Russia, paying partner networks around $260 million for the distribution of its channels in 2014.[97][98] In 2014 RT received 11.87 billion rubles ($310 million) in government funding that year and was expected to receive 15.38 billion rubles ($400 million) in 2015.[99] (For comparison the bigger BBC World Service Group had a $376 million budget in 2014-15.[100]) However at the start in 2015, as the ruble's value plummeted and a ten percent reduction in media subsidies was imposed, it was thought that RT's budget for the year would fall to about $236 million.[97][98] During the year, government funding was increased to 20.8 billion roubles (around $300 million in September).[101] In 2015, RT was expected to receive 19 billion rubles ($307 million) from the Russian government in 2016.[102]<<
source: RT (TV network) [Wikipedia]


The current Kremlin rulers see it as an effective way to weaken our defenses, increase the acceptance of aggressive acts and taking casualties among their own citizens. By choosing that approach they also save significant amounts otherwise necessary to counter NATO defense capabilities. Just look at the only Russian (outdated) aircraft carrier 'Kuznetsov' and what it would cost to strengthen their fleet in order to be a real match for American and future UK carriers.


Awareness

In order to prepare, people need to be aware first:
translation Buma:"We mustn't be naive. The Russians are using incitement. They are engaging in a cold war on the Internet and The Netherlands must get prepared to defend against it [& article in Dutch]" 
Some less critical Western media outlets should also do some fact checks first before they repeat Kremlin's 'news stories'. Even when they, or some of their staff, are not on the Kremlin payroll it looks weird when their reporting is very similar of known Kremlin media outlets.

People should also be aware of the fact that the Internet we rely on for many services such as getting (so far) reliable information, is also used 24/7/365 by state sponsored operatives who are prepare to harm, falsify, cheat, steal or do whatever we don't even think of now.

There have been attacks on main outlets where fake stories have been planted on their website and all media outlets should take care to make sure no fake news, planted by aggressive states, is spread via their (also social media) platforms.




Educated population
Obviously some deficits in the UK, but also in other countries in the West which took the 'end of history' period after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact for granted and not only dismantled their military capabilities, but also neglected the education about totalitarian states, fatal ideologies and methods of suppression the own population and aggressive/expansive behavior of such states. Although some politicians might have though that history will 'end' and the dangers of the Cold War period are now only a vague memory of a distant past, they are now so real that they could result in serious disruption of our societies. It's important however to recognize that not 'the other side' has become super smart, as it is explained in this recent article by the New York Times,

Why Putin’s Foes Deplore U.S. Fixation on Election Meddling [NY Times, Nov 23 2017]

but rather our societies and also politicians quickly forgot.
It's of course much easier to credit your opponent to be extremely smart than to admit that you and many of your folks are pretty daft. It's therefore important to increase the knowledge not only of world's most dangerous regimes, but also to keep our societies in touch with Russian realities and contradictions.


Propaganda 'at home'



This is just a less serious example of how Russian citizens' views are being shaped by the Kremlin. It's a mixed bag of various indegredients. Some of their news shows highlight Russia's military strength by showing new ships,planes, submarines or various rockets which are being commissioned or
they inform about drills. They create completely false narratives concerning 'mishaps' like Russian submarine Kursk or more recently the downing of the MH 17 passenger jet:

They create a distorted image of the EU, the US and especially Ukraine in order to justify the Kremlin's narrative. Sometimes they brag about how they created the election success of president Trump and on other occasions they outright deny any involvement in election 'meddling'.

The Kremlin's views regarding the 'encirclement of Russia' by NATO and other 'aggressive NATO moves' are also often repeated. When people are subjected to their daily dose of propaganda, they will after a while that the world must be according what they're being shown on a daily basis. Ordinary Russians won't know of NATO Russia cooperation, the offer to join NATO, the real reasons why the Eastern NATO members have chosen to join NATO. The common Russian has to think that NATO is lurking at Russia's borders just waiting for an opportunity to invade the country and to steal their precious commodities. When reporting on EU countries, divisions and problems are highlighted, often exaggerated while other much more important developments which can't benefit the Kremlin's interests are not being reported.

As this analysis indicates those regimes eager to broadcast their own fabricated version of history which fits its policies and/or justifies their rule:
it's often so very weak and omits so many contradicting information so it wouldn't take much effort to counter that 'artificial view of national history'. There are many facts the current Russian government is eager to hide and would render their history fairy tale telling useless.

Putin says Russia must prevent 'color revolution' (Reuters, Nov 20 2014)
(reminder: the revolution inspired & financed by Germany was 'red')

It's not 'just'  the facts about the October Revolution, and it's German funding, but also French and British 'meddling' in early 20th Century Russian history. In fact the picture the Russians would like to see themselves or their supposedly powerful emperor

It's as much of a fantasy as the whole glorious Soviet propaganda pictures of future technological achievements of the 'working class' like super boats, cars, planes, you name it. Distractions from the current sober realities by creating the image of glory. This can be achieved only by keeping the masses dull and not revealing the stories behind the glorious pictures like the French used the Russian government and the Czar for their war plans against Germany. Those familiar with the cooperation of France and Russia and especially the financing from French sources in order to boost Russian infrastructure and military capabilities will know. The French 'Sazanov connection' in the last days leading to World War I is only the icing of the cake.

There are many facts about Russia which could open the eyes of the common Russian people and destroy their confidence of their past leadership and maybe even their one which expose the not only the cruelty, but most of all the massive incompetence of the Communist leadership. It also shows that the glorified victory in May 1945 over fascist Germany was in fact just a result of former Soviet (also military) cooperation with Germany going back not only to the early days of Hitler's rule in Germany, but starting already when Germany was still known as the Republic of Weimar. That covert cooperation with Soviet Russia included (officially banned) tank development and drills and included also aircrafts and chemical weapons. (at different Soviet locations)

There are many more examples of '(widely) unknown' Russian history that would make common Russian people to rethink their attitude to 'official storytelling'. This also includes the history of Ukraine in general and the hoax of 'pro-Russian rebel forces' fighting some kind of a civil war in Ukraine's East in particular. Especially the German foreign ministry should finally drop their 'Soviet-Russian nostalgia' (A English translation of EZR blog post regarding Soviet/Russian-German history will be available soon) and they will have to realize that a large part of that 'Soviet Union' was also Ukraine. Ukrainian generals helped to subdue the Nazi regime, Ukrainian officers and common soldiers served in the Red Army stationed across former East Germany as well and suffered similar problems during/after the complete, German financed relocation of the troops back to the territories of the former Soviet Union.

The German people had to cope with two significant failures of ideological based regimes of injustice. The first was 1945 ending in utter devastation and moral blame for millions of deaths, some of them produced in most horrible, industrial scale, and the second, smaller regime collapse happened in 1989/1990 (East Germany). Both events enabled the German people to come clean with their past by banning the murderous ideologies, opening up the archives of the ruling brutes and by studying what went wrong, avoiding that such an ideologically driven regime will ever take over that country again. The Russians however after a brief period of a few years shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union is visibly back-peddling. What would happen if Germany was ruled nowadays by former Gestapo or Stasi officers ? Would there be an honest effort to uncover all the dirt of the past in order to prevent a repetition ? Even if such a 'cruel, but fair' ruler would abolish the ideology of fascism or communism, the methods of governing by one or a group of 'strong men' would be very similar to those used by less market oriented regimes. Imprisonment or murder of political opponents, banning the free press, rewriting history are the standard operating procedures of all regimes not on based on democratic principles of free expression and vote. A society based on the rule of law, not on the 'rule of fist'.

In order to make that last point that open, free societies aren't as weak as autocrats want to make their peoples believe it's absolutely necessary to uphold, defend and to promote those principles. Like Churchill, even facing the  imminent danger of occupation by channel crossing Nazi forces, our prosperous, free and relatively save societies must also proclaim: "We will never surrender !"


Instead we should increase our efforts to protect our own societies from vicious lies and give the population of those states who use that kind of aggressive propaganda the chance to see a facts their governments don't want them to see, which should include reporting on basic domestic events,

as well as more sensitive facts about policies of former Russian/Soviet governments.That should include statements, interviews from former KGB officers like Igor Prelin, sons and daughters of former Soviet leaders (in English w Russian subtitles and in Russian), and also give them access to those people who consider themselves to be (or former) members of the current Kremlin rulers (KGB generals, Soviet leaders, former Russian prime ministers). Combined with other, more critical voices which give additional information people can get a clearer picture. The more facts people in Russia learn about imperial Russia and the USSR the better and that also included famous distortions concerning the 'pan-slavic' narrative which require more objective history lectures regarding the Balkans and other regions outside Russia.


Propaganda efforts in FSU states





Destabilization and subversion

One example of the ongoing campaign against individual NATO member states:

It's also important to keep your population well informed about your own military, its tasks and missions and the purpose of those:
This survey indicates that Germans are not too aware of their military missions and as so often it's easy to survey the opinions or levels of knowledge, but then it's not being investigated why those numbers are so embarrassing. Even  if those reasons are known it's quite an European 'achievement' of being ignorant of other countries' approach. So those numbers seem to be shocking for all those who don't know Germany's media and political landscape or the role of their armed forces within (West)German society. Some people, especially in Europe's East, are being concerned about Germany's willingness to defend the new Eastern NATO members.

What Germany's media landscape misses is for instance a free view(not encoded) 'Forces TV' channel with own news also about deployments in other NATO member states and oversea areas.


NATO & Russia

EU & Russia

'From Lisbon to Vladivostok' Putin Envisions a Russia-EU Free Trade Zone [Der Spiegel Nov 25 2010]
Ukraine crisis: Angela Merkel 'offers Russia free trade deal for peace' [Telegraph, Jan 23 2015]

The future
There are so many subjects related to Russia which are currently not on the minds of common Russian citizens which are kept in the dark as good as possible by the current Russian government. Their efforts to take over control of popular news outlets on the one hand and to intimidate independent reporters and their outlets on the other, created a 'safe space' for the government and a very dangerous space for all journalists who dare to inform the citizens of Russia about the full picture. It doesn't make sense to counter that with numerous outlets suddenly focusing on Russia, but it would be more effective to give more resources to those who have a long tradition of informing Russians. Using shared resources like a common database of articles, background knowledge, files on certain subjects and persons would help to save costs as well as to increase the volume of available data to all affiliated journalists from various outlets.

The examples given in this blog post are just a few topics worth reporting back to the Russian people. There are numerous others, which deserve to be reported and currently are by outlets like RFE/RL, VOA, BBC, DW and others.

One big problem is the control of the airwaves and also the Internet by authorities. Currently there are a number a very good news outlets reporting also e.g. in Russian, but if the citizens can't receive those stations or their websites are blocked it won't reach many people of their targeted audience. There are of course technical solutions, but they are really expensive and would cost a lot more than current budget increases intended to counter Russian and other propaganda.


related articles:
history
LENIN UND LUDENDORFF : Traumpaar der Oktoberrevolution?
[FAZ, Nov 27 2017]

100 JAHRE OKTOBERREVOLUTION : Arbeit am Mythos [FAZ, Nov 4 2017]
Franco-Russian Alliance [Wikipedia]
Sergey Sazonov [Wikipedia]

>>His most important and controversial role came when he was the French ambassador to Russia in July 1914. He hated Germany and saw that when war broke out France and Russia had to be close allies against Germany. His approach was in agreement with Prime minister Raymond Poincaré who trusted him. He promised unconditional French support to Russia in the unfolding crisis with Germany and Austria. Historians debate whether he exceeded his instructions and thereby helped hasten the war. There is agreement that he failed to inform Paris of exactly what was happening, and the implications of the Russian mobilization in launching a world war.[4][5][6][7]<<
source:Maurice Paléologue [Wikipedia]
>>In France, around half of all households had invested in Russian bonds. For generations, the ornately designed bonds were considered worthless other than as decoration.<<
source: Russia Redeeming Czar's Bonds [NY Times, Nov 19 2000]

Arthur Raffalovitch [Wikipedia,French]
Arthur Raffalovich [Wikipedia,German]
The (US) Lend Lease Act & the Russians (1941-) [EZRhistory, Jan 2015]

Russian state media
Rossiya Segodnya [Wikipedia]


other Russian media




https://twitter.com/tvrain [Twitterfeed]
https://twitter.com/novaya_gazeta [Twitterfeed]


Sunday, November 12, 2017

#Brexit: The Russian angle. Facts & opinions (so far)

Dear reader,

we are living in rather turbulent times and sometimes it isn't easy to decide on what subject to write and publish first. Although currently the German version of events concerning the current and future European security situation in the wake of a much more aggressive Russia is 'under construction', one has to recognize that blog entries published in English attract far more potential readers, and what's even more important: readers from different European countries, not just those who speak/understand German.

As always the publication starts with a a certain time period which is spent on collecting sufficient data regarding one specific subject and in the end not only most pressing events dictate the date of publication, but also if the question: "Where's the beef" is sufficiently answered. Although it is always the aim to be as factual as possible this author can't deny that he wrote on behalf of European stability, freedom and prosperity for all citizens of Europe. Not for those of former 'old' Europe (i.E. Western Europe) and not for those of 'new' Europe (i.E. Eastern Europe), but for Europe as a whole.

Much too late at least some members of the "free press" are starting to dig up the dirt, which might have helped to fulfill the Kremlin's wettest dreams. After the USA belatedly started to dig deep by letting special counsel Mueller find out what really happened what was obvious to the open minded observer, now some people in the UK start to ask overdue questions. Although at this point in time there isn't any hard evidence that the  vote telly was rigged, it's fair to assume that the voters' minds have been influenced to some degree by a sophisticated campaign hammered out long before by Kremlin kingpins.

Before there will be some elaboration on this subject please do also read those pieces:

Egomanen als Waffe, halbherzige Regierungen als Zuträger [EZRopinion, Mar 19 2017] engl.:egomaniacs as a weapon, half-hearted politicians as supporters
In short a description of utterly naive politicians getting played by the Kremlin, while institutions with a high degree of expertise watching helplessly how their ship(country) sinks....

How Putin could yet save Britain from Brexit [Nov 2 2017, The Guardian]
We must get to the truth about Russia and Brexit [Nov 3 2017,The Times ($)]

Active measures: Russia’s Brexit Subversion [The American Interest, Nov 9 2017 (h/t:@20committee)]

The main points regarding the Brexit referendum in the UK which were made in German language in the EZR blog post published in March of this year will be repeated in this blog post. (this time in English)

Basically the points EZR made in late 2011 concerning the inability of national EU politicians to see the 'big picture' which almost led to the destruction of the Euro area are still valid 6 years on. In 2011 it was said that Europe need politicians to rescue the monetary union which are more like Superman than just Clark Kent. (The Canadian prime minister Trudeau showed last Halloween that he at least wears his Superman uniform underneath his more formal outfit)
Six years ago there was a prediction that a bunch of Clark Kents wouldn't be able to defend Europe against an offensive from Russia, which at the time was used just to show that politicians stopped making careful moves since the Cold War ended. Politics has changed into a profession without the necessity to think twice what steps to make, what directions to go or what policies to pursuit. It was written that many politicians got either lazy and careless or they are too young to remember the restraints which had be observed during the confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
Six years on we now have not just Beppe Grillo in Italy, but light spirited people, some say clowns, like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson which seems to be fixated on their own ego and how to be as popular as possible by their preference of 'publicity stunts' over solid policies. Although the European degree of stupidity isn't as high as the current American one it's sufficient to endanger the fate of whole countries like the UK.

A reminder from the airline industry to listen to expertise

In today's aviation business one system developed to prevent mid-air collisions called TCAS guarantees that planes don't collide because of the human error factor. Before the system was globally introduced pilots and air traffic controllers sometimes made mistakes regarding the flight level and direction which led to often fatal accidents, because very often because of the weather or darkness they couldn't see the other planes heading in their direction. Pilots steer not only their aircraft but also the fate of their passengers and so do heads of governments as 'pilots' of their countries.
TCAS is some kind of 'automatic negotiator' based on the aircraft's own technical systems which can predict that the plane is on a collision course with another aircraft. When it detects such an event one plane's pilot is literally told to climb to a higher flight level, while the other plane's pilot is told to descent. So far it's not an automatic system which takes over control of the aircraft and changes flight levels on their own, but it sends out strong acoustic warning to the pilot. If the pilot ignores those warnings and doesn't follow TCAS's instructions he, as well as other crew members and all passengers, is most likely doomed. A pilot can consider him/herself as 'strong leader' in the short period of time from ignoring the first unambiguous instructions to the final impact, while the rest of the crew may have started to pray for God's mercy and the passengers aren't aware of the imminent life threatening danger. The rest of the crew might not only have discovered their religious feelings, but also think in their last minutes of their lives of how to reverse the stubborn or mad (or both) captain's fatal decision to ignore the flawless TCAS system.  

Being exploited vs seeking collusion 
In general there is a difference of politicians of just being ignorant of the dangers of being exploited by not so friendly other governments which might follow an agenda of bringing down or at lest significantly harm a country or a group of countries it considers as danger to their government's policies.

Just as there's a difference between a stubborn pilot who chooses to ignore TCAS warnings and a pilot who disables the TCAS system before the plane's take off in order to ram it into another aircraft. The efforts of an 'unfriendly government' to undermine sane decisions could be compared to a zealous  activist of 'an anti-aviation campaign', a sworn enemy of all air travel who really likes it when airliners collide with each other and passengers decide out of fear to use trains instead of airliners. Such a saboteur just as the suicidal captain, could either try to sabotage the TCAS system of one plane, or he could see to it that pilots' training and regulations encourages air crews to ignore TCAS warnings as it tragically happened with the passenger aircraft which collided with a freight aircraft near the West-German town of Überlingen.

Here's an example of active collusion, not just being a 'useful idiot':

Mr Salmond appeared on RT before when he was interviewed by RT hosts using a live link to Scotland, where he described his vision for Scotland, which might be categorized as 'useful idiot', but hosting a TV show of his own on Russia's state broadcaster is a step further than that. One might also ask if there aren't any free media in Scotland and if Mr Salmond's SNP party is a small party which might have been neglected by local media. Of course it's not , since the SNP is in the driver's seat for some years now, they enjoy a majority in Scotland's parliament, and Ms Sturgeon is Scotland's first minister. So it can be assumed that ego of such politicians takes over and let them 'forget' that they collude with sworn enemies of the countries they enjoy to live in or they even govern ! They also don't seem to care about the fact that many, if not most, people in their constituencies might have never heard about RT before or even watched that channel.

If leading policians who feel the 'urgent need' to boost their ego and seeking publicity on hostile foreign TV channels one could also ask why national security services are not abandoned when politicians who run democratic countries like the UK or Scotland are being as much harmful to their countries future as possible while supporting the policies of the opposing countries? Don't those politicians realize what they are doing, or are they fully aware of what they are doing and they just don't care ?

Some obviously also don't care about deceiving the public with unrealistic or even made up promises or claims such as the 350 million pounds per week for the NHS. Those who seek to get elected into public office should show some responsibility and shouldn't make empty promises when they contradict the facts. Regarding any second referendum on Scotland's independence the economic consequences should be emphasized also by those seeking support for their 'Scoxit referendum'. Economic data such as oil and gas revenues and also demographic facts like:
Number of Scots OAPs to rise by quarter over 25 years [STV, Oct 2017]
shouldn't get polished, hidden or manipulated in any way in order to uphold one's own political narrative.

Mr Salmond's collusion is perhaps not endorsed by his SNP colleagues and it certainly is 'just' the fallout of the Brexit referendum debacle of Mr Cameron, who thought that he can use last year's referendum to silence the eurosceptics in his party and of course could counter the perceived threat of UKIP and its leader - Mr Farage. Concerning UKIP it wasn't necessary since the party was on the decline anyway and just held one seat in the house of commons while their leader was more present on the nation's TV screens than in its democratic institutions. Concerning the Eurosceptics he lost the gamble along with George Osborne, who is blamed in one the those articles recommended above for tolerating Russian aggressive behavior in exchange of the continuation of the influx of large amounts of Russian money into especially London's real estate sector and the UK economy as a whole. So in hindsight the failure of winning last summer's referendum was helped perhaps significantly by those forces who enjoyed all those privileges over the years. The establishment lost not only by a 52 to 48 percent outcome, but the UK was also divided in the aftermath of this referendum. A majority of the Scottish people voted for staying in the European Union as did the inhabitants of Northern Ireland, while the English and the Welsh voted to opt out the perceived 'strangling regulations of the EU'.

Parties represent long term policies and stability
Recent turmoil in the USA mainly caused by just one individual and his wake many other similar characters which didn't represent the values and traditions of a very old party and American institution - The GOP - made it clear that a nations' established and perhaps ancient old party can be destroyed or at least be harmed significantly by a 'hostile take over'. Just as an enterprise which isn't aware of a hostile take over effort it can be taken over when its internal checks and balances don't work properly anymore and instead of following perhaps a very slow evolutionary change of policies it's becoming more likely to radically change or even U-turn a party's former convictions. By neglecting a thorough vetting procedure when choosing candidates who seek  election into public office, a party enables Trojan horses using an established 'trade mark' to pursuit their own agenda instead of the well known and established party's agenda or policy. If political parties abandon their moral and also long term political compass in order to just appear 'popular' by serving the rage of the masses who might feel neglected or who have a longing for keeping their society they way the imagine it to be 'perfect', a certain kind of nostalgia. The English may want to remain forever like a large scale 'Midsomer', but then without the crime and the necessity of having a detective Barnaby. No or at least not many immigrants, building codes that allow only for styles like in the 19th Century or before that and not too many foreign or modern influences on their society, which can be titled 'Good old England'. A nostalgia not countered by politicians seeking election into office by reminding people that history usually doesn't freeze the developments of societies, except in certain dictatorships where society can both stay poor and 'pure' at once. (e.g. North Korea)

Regarding 'stability' the current British government isn't really helping the Tories, since the current turmoil after the resignation of ministers Hammond and Patel and the upcoming battle for the Tory leadership the party itself will come into difficulties once the British economy tanks after a 'hard Brexit' as many have already predicted. It's also an irony that the Conservatives might be responsible for the breakup of the UK when the Scottish independence isn't regarded as impossible as before and Northern Island could be either lost to a united Ireland or the territory could plummet again into chaos, which rocked not only Northern Ireland, but also the British mainland in the 1970s and 1980s. The question an outsider inevitably asks: is all this worth gaining just another victory in a general election and an extension of being in charge of of the country for another few years or just months ? Don't those parties look any further nowadays than the next battle at the ballot boxes ? Aren't the foreign relations of nation or its trade links established in decades not worth preserving ? Speaking of preserving: Isn't it an irony the Conservatives dared to risk all that worth preserving for a new, almost unknown future ? If they cherish the glorious moments of British history, which epoch do they want to preserve then ? I guess nobody knows exactly what they want, as long as they are able to 'take back control' ? Do they really control or aren't they controlled not by the 'almighty EU', but by much darker forces with far less trade links. During the Cold War it wasn't necessary to remind political parties of their responsibility in selecting the right staff to govern a country. Cowboys, daredevils, but also day dreamers weren't considered to be the 'right stuff' to steer their country's fate in the wake of an aggressive opponent called the Warsaw Pact. In the face of nuclear annihilation there wasn't much room for error and for short lived experiments. That seems to be forgotten these days as it was already 2011 when EZR asked the rhetorical question if today's politicians could withstand a Soviet(Russian) attack. These post Cold War times reveal that although our NATO forces could match the capabilities of the Russian military, the attack on our minds and especially those of politicians with more or less well hidden influence campaigns can be successful. Highest time for political parties to finally wake up to the latest implementation of a new kind of warfare which attacks the brains not only of ordinary citizens, but even more effectively those of some politicians.

Significant policy changes should be achieved after thorough and proper discussions and votes of members, not by smuggling in popular people known perhaps from their omnipresent TV appearances.
A sudden shift or even a 180 degree U-turn after such a 'coup' on traditional policies which have been a party's trademark for decades could also backfire just a few months later, when people start to wake up:

Certainly this observation by Mr Wilson was not just about the abandonment of the traditional free trade policies of the GOP. It's just not enough to watch how key policies are suddenly going down the drains, but the very least parties could do is to demand to uphold the proper procedures. The more they stick to them the less they have to regret when the damage is being done.

Coming back to British politics again it's certainly worth mentioning also a positive example where a British mainstream party narrowly avoided a significant policy shift by one of their members. In fact a leading figure of the Labour party who tried and failed to succeed a Tory prime minister:
Labour repeats backing for Trident after Jeremy Corbyn casts doubt on it [The Guardian, Apr 23 2017] 

One aspect of the 'Brexit referendum' is often overlooked. It represents the will of the British voters just at the time when it was held. Many voters considered it a 'warning shot' in the direction of the government and never took it seriously in the first place, because they thought the 'Leave campaign' would never win anyway. 

Those people regretted their decision right away, other voters regretted it more recently since they realized the implications of a 'hard Brexit' while being promised a 'soft Brexit'. 
New poll finds the British public have turned against a ‘Hard Brexit’ [Business Insider, Jun 23 2017]
The last couple of months there's isn't any visible progress on that matter and people did cast their vote at the time while being convinced by cunning and convincing showmen that they could take back control from Brussels and save the money they are transferring to Brussels in order to redirect the financial resources toward British institutions like the NHS. Instead of re-branding a 'hard Brexit' as a viable option, they better admit total failure of the initial 'vote leave campaign', otherwise politicians and their parties risk to sink their own country.



For the adversary it's not a 'bug' but a 'feature'
In EZR blog entry in German it was described that it seems that Western 'institutional blindness' is nowadays met with the ability of hostile foreign powers and their policy analysts to get a better of our politics and our society than our politicians and institutions. Even when some experts see and describe the upcoming dangers they are often neglected, or even worse: ridiculed. The domino effect of a British 'leave' was obvious to all people with some brains and not enough ignorance before it actually happened. The Russians, or better the current Russian government located in the Kremlin, must have been very happy when the first result went public following referendum day. They already figured out what that could imply economically and militarily and how they could benefit from the upcoming turn in world history. They anticipated that the UK or United Kingdom could be on its path to self destruction, thus losing the 'U' for 'United', since it was known before how the Scottish people feel about Europe. There is a dark and obviously fatal tendency in our Western societies to look just for the facts, even if that means that it questions some people's judgement or their ability to lead. It also perceived as weakness when individuals or groups took a wrong decision in the past and they are more likely to defend their (in hindsight) wrong decision even if that results in convincing ordinary citizens of a 'second reality'. Instead of admitting and correcting a mistake a tendency to create a parallel universe, a perceived need for painting those sticking to reality as 'spreaders of fake news'. Coincidentally or not this kind of informational warfare against the truth or facts was also the basis for the survival of the Soviet regime. On the other hand both the critics of prime minister May and her 'cabinet of future decline' and the Kremlin don't have much to lose when they see the dangers or advantages of such a self-destructive path. For those who seek to weaken our defenses it's also much cheaper to engage in an informational warfare, because the amount of money spent on flipping ancient old policies have already proven more effective than perhaps previously deemed possible. Although there won't most likely ever be a 'Thank you !' post card sent from the Kremlin to the American GOP or the British Conservatives they might as well think so without expressing it.


Coming back to the failing vetting procedures in political party a often overlooked fact is that with upcoming presidential candidate Trump the policy of GOP regarding Ukraine was changed in favor of Trump loyalists and which was certainly favorable to the Kremlin:

>>The original amendment, which proposed that the GOP commit to sending “lethal weapons” to the Ukrainian army to fend off Russian aggression, was ultimately softened.
... A transcript released by the House Intelligence Committee on Monday of lawmakers’ interview with early Trump adviser Carter Page revealed that Page congratulated members of the Trump campaign’s foreign-policy team on July 14 for their “excellent work” on the “Ukraine amendment.”<<

       source: Business Insider [Nov 8 2017]

For those who have forgotten the methods of hostile intelligence services to influence political decisions on the highest, thus also the most (also cost) effective, level:
>>Mr. Barzel, a strong advocate of German reunification, opposed Brandt's efforts to seek reconciliation with communist East Germany and the Soviet Union.
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The conservatives narrowly lost the 1972 no-confidence vote. Markus Wolf, the former head of the East German Stasi secret service, said later that his operatives had bribed at least one conservative lawmaker not to vote against Brandt.<<
         source: German Politician Rainer Barzel, 82 [Washington Post, Aug 28 2006] 


What has been achieved so far in the 'Brexit' negotiations between the UK and the EU (joke) after round 6:


So it's increasingly likely that the Brexit adventure will end in a 'hard Brexit' without any agreement in place when Britain is forced to deal with the continental EU on a WTO basis. The implications for the territorial unity of the country may also be better scrutinized by some people in the Kremlin than in Westminister dominated by wishful thinking Western politicians. Some British citizens question the rationality of the fleet policy regarding e.g. HMS Queen Elizabeth and whether it will enter service as scheduled with sufficient numbers of F-35 aircraft, while a breakup of the UK could have more severe implications for UK's navy. Fostering the severe and fundamental political divisions could play into our opponent's hands and returning to a more pragmatic course of all mainstream parties (at least) could prevent a further deterioration of the overall security situation not only for the one country, but also for its neighbors and friends.

Conclusion
Political parties should reflect once in a while when they see that 'their' policies actually match or come very near the goals of the Kremlin and they should ask themselves how they got there or at what point things have changed in that direction. Above all they should also feel obliged to uphold the constitution and the rule of law. Maybe dictatorial tendencies by individuals can get overlooked at first, but only a full commitment to prioritize the survival of constitution and the democratic order which embodies the separation of power over individual's short term goals can prevent lasting damage inflicted on our democracies.
>>New analysis from the British Election Study, polling more than 10,000 voters, has found that Mr Gove was partially right, at least among his supporters. Those who voted to Leave typically preferred the wisdom of ordinary people to that of experts.<<
         source: The Economist [Oct 12 2016]

Political parties should be aware that they can offer possibly popular minor modifications of their existing policies to their voters, like the guy depicted in this cartoon:

could perhaps demand one or two more drinks on the long distance flight, but demanding to fly the plane would most certainly not end well...
Politicians should have the guts to tell 'democracy loving' voters also inconvenient truths.

related reading
What does Brexit mean for Trident, intelligence and national security?  [The Independent, Jul 3 2016] 
Tight budgets and imminent Brexit threaten Britain's armed forces [The Economist, Jul 6 2017]
Bank of England issues fresh warning about Brexit's impact on UK economy [The Independent, Nov 2 2017]
Brexit poses European defense dilemma [Politico, Nov 10 2017]
Theresa May accuses Russia of interfering in elections and fake news [The Guardian, Nov 14 2017]

The Brexit Debate [Royal United Services Institute]





Theresa May: Europe must be 'open-eyed' about 'hostile' Russia [Sky News, Nov 24 2017]