MH-17, The Mueller SpyGate Fake Witch Hunt, and the Assault on Truth

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Despite of everything, all our efforts to commence a serious, solid and professional joint work are rejected out of hand.

“There is a well-known style, a rough, clumsy algorithm. Dirty provocations are organised, and the guilty side is determined in advance.

The so-called “investigation” is conducted almost completely on the basis of information from social networks and several international non-governmental organisations, which have tainted themselves long ago by fakes, forgeries, primitive fabrications and so on.

This unworthy style is clearly observed in the so-called ‘Skripal’s case’, Syrian chemical dossier, and previously, in the fabrication of pretexts for military invasion to Yugoslavia and Iraq.

-Russian Ambassador to Australia Grigory Logvinov, in response to Russia being definitively implicated in the downing of MH-17 over Ukraine in 2014.

 The Kremlin said on Tuesday that U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other related crimes would end one day, describing it as pointless.

“There’s hope that it will wind up one day,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about the investigation.

“In Russian, it’s called passing water through a sieve,” he said of the U.S. probe, using a Russian expression that means flogging a dead horse. “That’s exactly what the process looks like.”

One of the big questions of the Trump Era has been whether he is stupid, is deranged, is absolutely unable not to lie, or if he plots out his provocations for maximal effect. And the answer, most likely, is: all of it.

That’s what we see at the top, a tweet string yesterday unintentionally lightened up by his under-two-hour commitment to actually work at being President. In it, he blurts out all the keyphrases and incantations that the right has ben picking up: Fake News, Spygate, Phony Russian Witch Hunt, Rigged Russia Witch Hunt, 13 Angry Democrats, Crooked Hillary, Obama/Comey/Lynch et al.  He spouts how the only collusion (or: Collusion) was by the Dems.

On the surface, of course, it is a madshow, absolute blubbering insanity. But it makes a little more sense in light of the Russian statement about MH-17, in which it was shown (though it was known) that Russian soldiers downed a civilian plane as part of their wildly illegal invasion, division, and annexation of Ukraine.

You see a fairly similar use of language here: the Syrian Chemical Dossier, the scare quotes around the Skripal Case, because it is absurd to think that Russia is responsible for an enemy of Moscow being poisoned in Russia, the use of “fakes” and “phonies” and “forgeries” to describe a 4-yr multinational investigation.

This method of argument (if one could call it that) hinges on the knowledge that there is too much information in the world today, and too many easy recourses to alternate realities, that if you say enough things they’ll stick somehow. At the very least, they’ll confuse the issue, and force your opponents to spend time arguing one point.

Like, if you want to point out how absurd it is to say that Moscow was somehow framed for Skripal, you have to go into the whole history of Litvinenko, of Yuschkenko, of Politkovskaya, of Nemtsov, each of which have their own conspiracies you could spend the rest of your life debunking.

The Russians, for very complicated reasons, have perfected this as part of their “active measures”. They can frame everything that pains Russia in a bad light as part of this long-running conspiracy against Russia, which stretches back through time, and can incorporate elements as disparate as international Jewry and Hitler.

In his book The Road to Unfreedom, Timothy Snyder uses the term schizo-fascists to describe actual Russian fascists, like literal-Balbo-type ones, who use the term fascist to describe any enemy of Russia. I think it is a sort of clunky, but very useful term, and absolutely describes this phenomenon.

Because think about it: if you are talking to an honest-to-god fascist, and saying that you oppose them, and they say, “of course you do, you fascist”, what do you say? Do you talk to them about how their policies and ideas are drawn directly from the fascism of the 30s and 40s, filtered through the local context and mythologies?

Imagine doing so! And then they’ll say that you’re suppressing their speech, and are in fact the true fascist! Antifa are the real Nazis! Anti-Rosanne’s are the real racists! Democrats are the real corrupt ones!

It’s impossible to argue against it, not just because anyone can find a conspiracy theory to back that up (and what the undead Ukrainian journalist did, while understandable and probably right and undoubtedly pretty awesome, will only give more ammo to these sides), but because you are quickly reduced to their shouting level. I’m angry right now. No, goddammit, you’re clearly the fascist you’re wearing a skull armband. 



That’s what Trump is doing, intentionally or not. There’s a chance he just hears these things on Fox, and believes them, because he is both the kind of dummy who believes conspiracies and the megalomaniacal paranoid dissonance-addict who thinks everything he does was done to him, and worse, by someone else. He might just be regurgitating whatever he thinks makes him sound good.

But his one great skill has always been to manipulate the minds of people through sheer bullshit, and now he has a constant megaphone with which to do it. He knows, I think, that throwing everything out there will convince enough people and throw the rest of us off guard, unbalanced, unsure of where to strike. Which bit of that madness do we argue? Which section of this flood do we try to mop up?

That’s the international right’s methodology, Russian-inspired, and it is what unites them as much as white supranationalism. It’s a tool for advancing their agenda. And it works, because when you don’t care about truth, you win. When you think that facts are just wobbly toys to be knocked over, you win. When you internalize the idea that all liberals and multinationals are evil and conspiring against you and control the media, and that you can fight against them by any means needed, and that lying in that service is a higher form of honesty, you can win.

And yes, I know that now sound like a conspiracist, ranting about their methods. That I don’t think they are terribly organized, but rather inspired by each other, doesn’t matter. That I don’t think it is a conspiracy doesn’t matter. What matters is that I sound like I do, and now I am defending it, and that’s all that matters.