The New Russophobia 2

663 posts / 0 new
Last post
kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

ikosmos wrote:

The difference is that someone like Coats, representing the Empire, leads, while someone like Freeland follows, as you say, the billionaire culture. She's going to be very much out of sync, especially with the Empire under President Trump, and maybe soon.

Trump's administration is a billionaire's club more than any in the past. It seems like she will fit in just fine in that culture.

sherpa-finn

With the irony being of course that Freeland made her name writing (somewhat critically) of the global plutocracy, crony capitalism and growing income inequality.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Trump's administration is a billionaire's club more than any in the past. It seems like she will fit in just fine in that culture.

OK, yeah, but I'm thinking more of ... let's call it her "McCarthy Moment" when, God willing, she finds herself at the "back of the bus" (for a billionaire club newbie, natch!) and out of sync, politically, with the political overlords in Washington  who, for the nonce, want a change in relations with Russia. 

Maybe that delicious prospect is clouding my judgment.

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

sherpa-finn wrote:

With the irony being of course that Freeland made her name writing (somewhat critically) of the global plutocracy, crony capitalism and growing income inequality.

You will note that she continued to be employed by the very billionaires she "exposed" in her book. It didn't seem to upset them at all. I have not read it, but the reviews I have read seem to indicate that after outlining the dimensions of economic inequality, she fails to suggest any possible remedies which would produce even slight discomfort amongst her patrons. I remember watching her on "The McLaughlin Group" back in the 90s when she was a columnist for The Financial Times of London. She is a true believer in the neo-liberal gospel.

NDPP

Full Interview with Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov (and vid)

http://thesaker.is/full-interview-with-kremlin-spokesman-dmitry-peskov

NBC

NDPP

Why Ridiculous Offical Propaganda Still Works 

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/why-ridiculous-official-propagand...

"Chief among the common misconceptions about the way official propaganda works is the notion that its goal is to deceive the public into believing things that are not 'the truth' (that Trump is a Russian agent for example...)

The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an 'official narrative' that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. The official narrative does not have to make sense or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. It's factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between 'the truth' as defined by the ruling classes and any other 'truth' that contradicts their narrative.

The current 'Russia hacking' hysteria is a perfect example of how this works. No one - aside from total morons actually believes this official narrative, ( the substance  of which is beyond ridiculous), not even the stooges selling it to us. This however is not a problem because it isn't intended to be believed...it is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma.

The new official narrative (let's go ahead and call it  'The Putinist Putsch to Destroy Democracy') is so completely fatuous that it's beyond embarrassing...

If I wasn't worried that Trump is going to launch an all-out war on Islam or that one of 'our boys' with tanks Obama has theatrically ordered to the Russian border was going to go bonkers and try to 'git some' for Clinton, I'd be looking forward to seeing just how bat-shit crazy it's going to get..."

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Well, yeah, it's easier to repeat the official narrative than to critique it, question it, or even remain skeptical about it. And if it relates to foreign policy, with few trade implications, then it is literally no skin off anyone's nose and, therefore, many could care less and view the subject more as a matter of entertainment than of serious concern. Hence some of the thoughtless and inane remarks. 

We have babblers who prove, over and over again, that this latter view is their approach. You also see, for example, contributors here who literally post nothing on foreign policy. Nada. Zero. An issue may be of global concern but, if, it is viewed as not affecting in a big way the results of the next election in province ABC, or the country generally, then it's deemed "not worthy" of attention. 

Canadians are truly insular in many ways, not all that different from our American cousins. 

Canada is also "richly" endowed by plenty of immigrants, pre-selected for their qualities, such as virulent Russophobia, which "enriches" our political culture with the appropriate "attitude". Nazis were taken over Jews. In my province of BC, racism has a very rich, enduring, and ugly history. 

bekayne

ikosmos wrote:

Canada is also "richly" endowed by plenty of immigrants, pre-selected for their qualities, such as virulent Russophobia, which "enriches" our political culture with the appropriate "attitude".  

Please point them out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_Canada#Sources_of_immigration

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Our newcomer Richard Sanders has provided an ocean of evidence regarding the Ukrainian fascists - who fought alongside or as members of Nazi units - who were welcomed to this country with open arms. You could start with that. 

Mobo2000

Magoo says:

"It would be a good thing, IMHO, if the second principle for anti-imperialists were to turn the lens of attention on whichever government they support.  If that government has clean hands then there's nothing to lose, yes?"

Yes, perhaps.   Curious what you mean particularly by  "support"?    Is supporting a government saying good things about it, refusing to say bad things, or something more?

Edzell:   Unionist was correct in interpreting my intentions in my posting you quoted at post  571.   I put that definition up there to show where I was coming from, defensively, as I interpreted that "standard" anti-imperialist principle as being somewhat under attack or misunderstood on these threads.   I see (now, more clearly) that while this is true it's not overly one sided.     

Ikosmos says:

"It's an interesting question. I must admit that I, quite often in fact, have no patience for those who "fail" to rise above their situation. And maybe I'm just so wrong here."

I understand and sometimes also feel this way.  But I try not to.   I don't mean the following as a criticism of you or your posts on babble.    More of a general comment.    In Canada, anti-imperialists are getting our ass kicked.   There is little public awareness or support, we tend to be split amongst the left, libertarians, and now the "alt-right" is now marshalling it's own anti-imperialist critique (which is freaking terrifying).  I think the onus is/should on anti-imperialists to convince potential allies, because we need them.

There has been progress on other left issues in the past few decades.  Obviously no battles are won, but there have been some victories along the way.   Not so for activism against american empire.   We don't have any mainstream media organizations or political parties articulating an anti-imperialist postion in Canada, and we've had little effect on shaping Canadian foreign policy.   And globally, the US has been winning some/losing some at about the same rate since the 70's.    They certainly have kept busy.  

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

I don't think allies, even temporary ones, are so bad. That's politics and we should not fear it. As long as we know what we stand for, what our minimum is, etc., then we should trust ourselves. 

My own feeling is that our moribund, politically neutered peace movement has a lot to do with such a weak anti-imperialism in Canada. 

And, let's be completely honest. Canada is an imperialist country. It takes a lot to rise to the level of criticizing the imperialism of your own country. In fact, it's the real litmus test, isn't it?

Some Canadians are doing a fine job of providing some excellent analysis on this. Anything by Yves Engler - whose writings appear here on rabble.ca now and then - is a great example. I understand that many are prejudiced against them, but the Canadian Communists are pretty good as well. They're small but they are connected to other fraternal/sororical parties around the globe whom they have to respect and listen to, etc. 

I'm always proud when I see some Canadian rise above the stupid. Patrick Armstrong, Eva Gollinger, and just mentioned Yves Engler show us that it can be done. God bless them.

 

NDPP

Infinite Jest: Liberals Laughing All The Way To Hell  -  by Chris Floyd

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/18/infinite-jest-liberals-laughing-a...

"...I don't like Putin today. [almost always this standard, obligatory 'loyalty' declaration by any western liberal venturing to criticize  the present Russia-hate hysteria. Very standard feature on Babble obviously: 'I hate ALL authoritarians BUT Putin/Assad/Gadaffi/ is murdering his own people, is Hitler etc]

But I don't think I have ever seen such a full-scale, all-out demonization and 'Othering' campaign like the one going on now, not just against Putin and his loathsome regime, but Russia and Russians in general. But more and more we see the stance, the assumption, that the worthless Russian people deserve whatever's coming to them for supporting Putin. [Or worse 'regime change'/ 'liberation'/Russian Spring]

(Oddly enough, one sees the same take in 'liberal' circles [like babble] about US regions that voted for Trump: 'These people' deserve whatever they get, they're scum, they deserve to die.)

Where is all this headed? Does it begin with funny ha-ha jokes about invading Russia like Hitler did - and end with actually invading Russia like Hitler did?

What is it that our newly converted CIA liberals and New McCarthyite progressives really want?

War with Russia? 

Is this what our good liberals and progressives are signing up for...?"

 

6079_Smith_W

NDPP wrote:

But I don't think I have ever seen such a full-scale, all-out demonization and 'Othering' campaign like the one going on now, not just against Putin and his loathsome regime, but Russia and Russians in general. But more and more we see the stance, the assumption, that the worthless Russian people deserve whatever's coming to them for supporting Putin.

(Oddly enough, one sees the same take in 'liberal' circles [like babble] about US regions that voted for Trump: 'These people' deserve whatever they get, they're scum, they deserve to die.)

Is this what our good liberals and progressives are signing up for...?"

Oh for heavan's sake. No one here is saying anything like that. You and Chris are just making it up. This is as tiring as it is dumb.

And the joke is Trump is no stranger to using the "living in Nazi Germany" nonsense himself.

josh

NDPP wrote:

Infinite Jest: Liberals Laughing All The Way To Hell  -  by Chris Floyd

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/18/infinite-jest-liberals-laughing-a...

"...I don't like Putin today. [almost always this standard, obligatory 'loyalty' declaration by any western liberal venturing to criticize  the present Russia-hate hysteria. Very standard feature on Babble obviously: 'I hate ALL authoritarians BUT Putin/Assad/Gadaffi/ is murdering his own people, is Hitler etc]

But I don't think I have ever seen such a full-scale, all-out demonization and 'Othering' campaign like the one going on now, not just against Putin and his loathsome regime, but Russia and Russians in general. But more and more we see the stance, the assumption, that the worthless Russian people deserve whatever's coming to them for supporting Putin. [Or worse 'regime change'/ 'liberation'/Russian Spring]

(Oddly enough, one sees the same take in 'liberal' circles [like babble] about US regions that voted for Trump: 'These people' deserve whatever they get, they're scum, they deserve to die.)

Where is all this headed? Does it begin with funny ha-ha jokes about invading Russia like Hitler did - and end with actually invading Russia like Hitler did?

What is it that our newly converted CIA liberals and New McCarthyite progressives really want?

War with Russia? 

Is this what our good liberals and progressives are signing up for...?"

 

This CIA liberal/McCarthyite progressive simply wants the truth as to Russia's interference in the election, and their relationship with Trump. He doesn't want NATO expansion or war with Russia. And has as little use for Ukraine as he does for Russia.

Mobo2000

Ikosmos:   Thanks for this.    I'll going to do some more reading.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Engler provides excellent footnotes in his books for further reading. He's also taken on the car culture and really challenged others to look at that issue. Gollinger has challenged the Western MSM and regime narrative on Syria; I think YouTube would be helpful to find her stuff (and Engler, probably). Patrick Armstrong is a former Canadian diplomat and military analyst who has a blog and writes about Russia. He's brilliant and funny, knowledgeable about Russia, clearly has an affection for the culture, and a low threshold for the stupid. I see that English-language Russian media has discovered him (I did long ago), so he has some of his work appearing there now.  His SituReports, or whatever he calls them, are simply brilliant. A paragraph or two, full of links to back up his claims, summarizes news relating to Russia in one fell swoop. It's truly a breath of fresh air.

Cheers.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

SouthFront: The Political Uses of Russophobia.

Not bad. 7 min or so. A good summary that covers European dimensions, across the EU, and the independent "reasons" for Russophobia in each.Not that Canada is left out.

Quote:
Let’s start with the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. Here the motive is prosaic economic self-interest. US and Canada are major hydrocarbon producers whose “liberal” Obama and Trudeau governments have been seeking to isolate Russia in order to eliminate the competition from Russian hydrocarbon exports. US oil and gas companies would furthermore benefit from the construction of pipelines linking Saudi Arabia and Qatar with Europe, but that project first requires the destruction of Syria which Russia successfully opposes. Finally, the Obama Administration has been pursuing regime change in Russia itself in order to make that country “available” to US financial and energy interests. The fever pitch that the anti-Russian propaganda campaign reached in recent weeks is a reflection of Russia’s success at deflecting these threats. However, the US foreign policy would change dramatically in case of revaluation of threats from China, non-government actors like ISIS and a possible global economic crisis that will force reformatting of the global economic system.

Always follow the money.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Still no response to post 553. Perhaps now that the Guardian has taken notice, one of the resident Russophiles can come forward to explain to me why condemning the Duma for entertaining a bill that will essentially gut is playing into the hands of the imperialists.

TheGuardian wrote:

Putin, when questioned in December, said it was better not to use violence at all, noting that “there’s too little distance between a spanking and a beating”. He agreed, however, that “unceremonious interference with the family is impermissible”.

bekayne

bagkitty wrote:

Still no response to post 553. Perhaps now that the Guardian has taken notice, one of the resident Russophiles can come forward to explain to me why condemning the Duma for entertaining a bill that will essentially gut is playing into the hands of the imperialists.

TheGuardian wrote:

Putin, when questioned in December, said it was better not to use violence at all, noting that “there’s too little distance between a spanking and a beating”. He agreed, however, that “unceremonious interference with the family is impermissible”.

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/314991-trump-team-prepares-dramatic-cuts

At the Department of Justice, the blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions.

Birds of a feather

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

So they've had a first reading. Let's see what happens before we send in the "liberating" US tanks to "free Russian women" from the "Putin regime".

I see that the Russian government, last October, opposed this piece of legislation. Funny, it's from the same (US-funded?) website that you quoted. I guess that was an oversight on your part? lol.

......................................................................................................................

Sidebar: If your intention is to address domestic Russian political matters, shouldn't this go in the Russia thread?

Or is your intention to counteract the overwhelming evidence of foaming Russophobia, [the subject of this thread, after all] - including from babblers on this very site, who have called for the death of the Russian President, made racist remarks about the "rogue nation", etc - with critical domestic matters, presumably to mitigate the rabid Russophobia elsewhere?

Just asking, of course. lol.  Seriously. If this legislation gets any traction, then the story should go in the regular Russia thread. Unless you think the story is evidence of Russophobia? An odd claim, to say the least.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

ikosmos wrote:

So they've had a first reading. Let's see what happens before we send in the "liberating" US tanks to "free Russian women" from the "Putin regime".

I see that the Russian government, last October, opposed this piece of legislation. Funny, it's from the same (US-funded?) website that you quoted. I guess that was an oversight on your part? lol.

"I guess that was an oversight on your part? lol."

Ikosmos I have no trouble with your politics however you are tone deaf to other people and oblivious as to who they are as babble posters.

That was a gratuitous attack on a poster who does not deserve it. Your behaviour turns off many and means that no one listens to your arguments even when they have merit as I believe they often do. Given that I share many of your views on international affairs I find it disconcerting that the only debate about the issues occurs around insults between you and other posters.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

This thread is full of examples of paper-thin, not-thought-out, block-headed Russophobia. I did a tiny bit of homework and, lo and behold, the exaggerated claims fall to shit. Sorry for my angry sarcasm. You yourself have expressed such views in a more polite way.

Maybe this nasty legislation will get 2nd reading. Maybe not. Most people in Canada who know about politics hold their opinions until the 2nd reading gets passed. Apparently, Russia doesn't deserve this kindness, and they should be denounced immediately, whatever happens, becazuse freedom, or something.

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

We're talking about a law that legalizes assaulting one's spouse, one's children, or one's parents ikosmos.

What possible reason could any legislator have for voting in favour of it if they didn't have intention to see something along that line passed?

Seems to me it means they agree in principle.

And people do actually pay attention when important legislation goes through first reading.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079 you seems you are being confrontational just for kicks and giggles and it is annoying. There is no possible way that anyone including you me and Ikosmos know the minds of legislators in a foreign country. Hell I don't even know what goes through the minds of MP's when they pass some laws.

You could have just spoken to the issue. The idea of being able to assault a spouse once a year is outrageous but then some Xian sects as well as some Islamic and some Jewish sects would be in favour of the law since they are misogynist. I don't know the Russian Orthodox theological stance on women's place in a marriage but I suspect it is not equality.  

I think that spanking children like hitting adults is always an assault. Unfortunately the law in Canada has not gone that far.  The section that exempts it in the Criminal Code is similar to the proposed Russian exemption but only for children without the horrendous idea that other adults can be considered dependents to the patriarch.

Trudeau is promising to change the law as part of his Reconciliation with Indigenous people so maybe he will get around to it. The reason it was highlighted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the exemption applies not only to parents beating on their children it also exempts teachers like the ones who beat kids in residential schools. Knowing Canada the first person charged will be a indigenous parent.

josh

I guess "Russophobia" is the new McCarthyism charge. Sort of like those Zionists who shout anti-Semitism at any criticism of Israel.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

josh wrote:

I guess "Russophobia" is the new McCarthyism charge. Sort of like those Zionists who shout anti-Semitism at any criticism of Israel.

Who is making the charge and holding the hearings? McCarthy accused people of being Russian agents because they were communist and socialist. He did not accuse people who said bad things about Russia of the crime of hating Russia.  McCarthyism is the prime example of Russophobia gone amok. 

Strangely enough history has many stories of how countries were endlessly vilified in the American press before the US went to war. I read alot of history so I worry that the hype is leading us down the garden path once more. Saying Russia is a homophobic and has serious problems with internal democracy is fair. Constantly implying that Russia is planning the overthrow of the world and is the nastiest regime on the planet is Russophobia. I am not accusing anyone of any specific offence just saying where I draw the line.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

6079 you seems you are being confrontational just for kicks and giggles and it is annoying. There is no possible way that anyone including you me and Ikosmos know the minds of legislators in a foreign country.

Really.

Look, I don't care what they think any more than I care about your false assumptions. I care what they do.

And in this case it isn't slow reform, it is undoing a law that treats domestic violence as what it is - assault.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/19/russian-soften-domestic-vi...

 

Mobo2000

It's a shitty law, and (further) evidence of the homophobic and sexist views and policies of the conservative Russian ruling class.

What actions can Canadian activists do to change it?

In the current political context, what are the likely effects of an international campaign against this proposed law?

Smith and Bagkitty, are these two questions above fair in your view?   I guess I don't understand what response we are supposed to have to this proposed law other than saying it's shitty. 

 

6079_Smith_W

Well it would have been nice if the response was to say it was shitty. I'd have been fine with that.

What it did was flush out a round of apologies and fingerpointing in other directions and pleas to wait until it is actually law before saying anything.

Mobo2000

Smith:   I have my own interpretation of what it did and why it was done.  Looks like mission accomplished to me.

Would you answer my other questions above in post 628?    Thanks.

6079_Smith_W

Nobody has said anything about an international campaign to prevent the law.

I'm sure if any of us raised it we'd be accused of imperialist interference in another country.

But as posters on a discussion board we have every right to publicize it and call it what it is.

Any question is fair, but I ignored your question because it didn't have anything to do with what I was talking about. And at first glance it seems like an invitation down a rabbit hole, where if we can't actually effect change we shouldn't be talking about it.

Did I guess right?

Mobo2000

I'm not sure which questions of mine you are answering above.

They were:

1. What actions can Canadian activists do to change it?     (are you saying nothing?)

2. In the current political context, what are the likely effects of an international campaign against this proposed law?

3. Are these two questions above fair in your view?   (I'm guessing you think they are)

I think these questions are important and relevant to the discussion on Russophobia, which is the subject of the thread.

Re:   did you guess right, I don't think so.   But answer me first?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

You know that he doesn't actually have to do as you say, right?

You can ask the question, but there's no obligation for anyone to follow your lead.

6079_Smith_W

You know what? I don't even like it when people I consider friends try to play inquisitor and string me along. So I have no intention of falling for it from you.

You're busted, so let's get to the point. You have something on your mind? Put it on the table.

 

Mobo2000

Yes, there's no obligation.   That's why I said please, and asked using a question mark.   Thanks for letting me know its not an obligation, though.

Smith, it's just reciprocation, you know?   You've asked me a lot of questions since I've been here, and I would like to try to understand where our difference is.

I don't have anything to put on the table beyond what I have already put here.

 

6079_Smith_W

Okay, well we're done then. If you want to explain why you ask two questions that don't relate to what I was talking about I 'll consider answering. But without context I am not going to walk into something that might be a trap.

I could get into why the questions don't actually have a clear answer (another reason why I decline), but honestly that is not what this is about and I don't feel like wasting my time, or anyone else's.

Besides, what I really need is to raise examples like South Africa, and have someone jump on my head for comparing Russia to Apartheid. No thanks.

 

Mobo2000

Ok.   If you don't see the relevance, I am refering to the post series 538 - 557 in this thread.   There was another set of questions I asked there you declined to answer as well:

Do you agree in general that american liberal media does use progressive issues and causes to "dogwhistle" progressives in support of US foreign policy goals?   And if so, does that have any significance or consequence for progressives?

I wish i had a clever answer to all these questions to spring on you when you said something wrong, but I don't.   And I am genuinely curious as to why you say they don't have clear answers.

But as Timebandit noted, you are not required to answer my questions.   I will consider my trap avoided.    Best wishes.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Okay, that's where you are going. Doesn't actually have much to do with whether activists here can change the vote in the Duma. I wouldn't have guessed.

In any case, it is entirely fair to raise it in a thread on Russia on a progressive site, however you might want to make assumptions about motive.

And even if you are right, so what? Are you saying we shouldn't talk about a law which would decriminalize violence against women because it might make Russia look bad?

Perhaps people here being shitscared about anything critical of Russia did play in part  into why that issue was raised. I'd say the fact some heard the dogwhistle loud and clear, and reacted by doing backflips over what should have been a clear issue made the point, no?

If it wasn't exactly the same dogwhistle as you thought it was, well perhaps that says something.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And even if you are right, so what? Are you saying we shouldn't talk about a law which would decriminalize violence against women because it might make Russia look bad?

He or she did not say or imply that and your question is a form of accusation. If you don't understand that maybe that is the problem you have with many posters.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

josh wrote:

I guess "Russophobia" is the new McCarthyism charge. Sort of like those Zionists who shout anti-Semitism at any criticism of Israel.

Who is making the charge and holding the hearings? McCarthy accused people of being Russian agents because they were communist and socialist. He did not accuse people who said bad things about Russia of the crime of hating Russia.  McCarthyism is the prime example of Russophobia gone amok. 

Strangely enough history has many stories of how countries were endlessly vilified in the American press before the US went to war. I read alot of history so I worry that the hype is leading us down the garden path once more. Saying Russia is a homophobic and has serious problems with internal democracy is fair. Constantly implying that Russia is planning the overthrow of the world and is the nastiest regime on the planet is Russophobia. I am not accusing anyone of any specific offence just saying where I draw the line.

While I would add more accusations against Russia than the two you mentioned - I agree with everything you said. What scares the shit out of me is people pointing to Russian policies in order to justify support for NATO and Hillary and Obama and Canadian intervention and aggression and all the rest of it.

I don't really think it's "Russophobia" at all. I just think it's a thankful excuse to stop fighting against our own imperial and aggressive regimes. Because theirs are worse.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I don't think pointing that out was in support of NATO, Clinton or Obama. The thread has been about any criticism of Russia being uncalled for and without merit. This issue is a counter to that - it is a move very much worthy of criticism.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And even if you are right, so what? Are you saying we shouldn't talk about a law which would decriminalize violence against women because it might make Russia look bad?

He or she did not say or imply that and your question is a form of accusation. If you don't understand that maybe that is the problem you have with many posters.

Mobo brought up dogwhistles, which implies that this proposed law was brought up as a foil for something else. That is what I was reponding to.

Mobo2000

OK I'll try one more time.   Smith, if you meant post 638 to be addressed to me, it would be nice if you actually answered the questions I asked, rather than your interpretation of my motive for asking, or your interpretation of what they imply.   Whenever you've asked me questions in this thread I've given you the same courtesy.   You asked for context first and I gave it.  

I brought up dogwhistles in the thread to discuss an article by the Black Agenda report posted in this thread that was about the liberal/DNC american media dogwhistling progressives in support of american foreign policy goals.

The questions were:

1.  What actions can Canadian activists do to change it?   (incredibly shitty proposed law decriminalizing domestic violence)

2.  In the current political context, what are the likely effects of an international campaign against this proposed law?

3.  Do you agree in general that american liberal media does use progressive issues and causes to "dogwhistle" progressives in support of US foreign policy goals?   And if so, does that have any significance or consequence for progressives?

I'm going to do us all a big favour and tell you my answers now too:

1.   Nothing that I can see, but if there was a way to help that took into account (2) below, I will support it.  

2.   In the current political climate, I think an international campaign against this law would strengthen domestic support for it.  

3.   I think dogwhistling the left occurs and it's a problem.   I think progressives have a responsibility to account for it.   

A few bonus comments:

In post 555, VOTD said:

"I'm undecided if a gay-rights group needs to take an official stand on imperialism(arguably not part of their mandate, any more than an anti-imperialist group needs to take a stand on gay rights everywhere), but certainly, if the given political climate poses the risk that a campaign for persecuted gays will be hijacked by those pushing a warmonegering agenda, the activists can make it clear that they're not on board for that."

This to me highlights part of the problem in building solidarity on this.   It's a great comment by VOTD and I spent a lot of time thinking about it..   I think the onus is on the anti-imperialists to make the case to the gay rights group.   Though a bit of solidarity in both directions is always good.   The message from an anti-imperialist group in the example above CAN"T BE don't talk about the shitty law.   But perhaps it could be:  When you talk about the shitty law, could you also say our stuff too?

Smith, that's all I have for the table.   Most of it was already in this thread.   Please answer my 3 questions above?

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Thanks for putting your thoughts on the table.

I think #1 is a difficult question because it is really the jurisdiction of Russia. It isn't up to us to change it except in extreme cases. Again, like Apartheid.Or pretty much any issue which has been tackled by Amnesty International.

Is violence against women potentially such an issue that would call for an international campaign? Absolutely. It certainly is in the case of genital mutilation. This law in and of itself isn't the same thing, but it certainly raises alarm bells to to see domestic violence not considered assault. If it actually is decriminalized I expect there will be some sort of campaign, just as there has been with anti-LGBT laws.

More importantly, does this being a domestic issue mean that mean we can't talk about it? Of course we can.

So that sort of answers your second question too. Again, given that this is all hypothetical. But I agree that in the short term it would likely entrench some support for it. But there is also a point at which the importance of the issue outweighs that.

Was it right and fair to raise issues around Russia's anti-LGBT laws around the Sochi Olympics? As an international event, I say absolutely, and I could care less what effect it has on support for the law.

Now as for your third question, I think it is less important whether some people dogwhistle (of course they do) as whether we are doing that here, and why, and most importantly, whether the issue in and of itself is a valid one.

 

Mobo2000

OK I appreciate you are being straightforward here.   I am curious (not laying a trap) what you mean by your last sentence.

What is the issue you refer to ("..in and of itself is a valid one")?  Dogwhistling or Russia's shitty laws?   And when you say dogwhistling here, do you mean babble or Canada or something else?

And what do you think of my bonus comment:  "The message from an anti-imperialist group in the example above CAN"T BE don't talk about the shitty law.   But perhaps it could be:  When you talk about the shitty law, could you also say our stuff too?"    Do you agree or have comments?

 

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Valid issue: The law which decriminalizes domestic violence.

When a group says "don't talk about that, talk about this" or "talk about this as well" I have to say it depends. Often you need to have that context. Other times it is just deflection by people who don't want to hear valid criticism.

In this case, we have had a long-running situation here where any criticism of anything the Russian government does is taken as discrimination.

Why did bagkitty bring up that law? You'd have to ask him, but I wouldn't be surprised if in addition to it being an important issue that we should know about, it was also a pretty clear example that the Russian government sometimes does do not so good things.A not-so-sublte dogwhistle, if not exaclty the kind you were talking about.

And as you see, people responded to the whistle rather than the issue of violence.

Now I know you and I disagree on some of the lines here - what you wrote recently about criticizing our own government first - and I don't see the need to revisit that disagreement. But I did want to point out that this issue can be raised in this way without being an imperialist attack. In my view, anyway.

Yeah, and I hope you don't think me too cautious with that "trap" comment. But as you can see, one doesn't have to do too much here to be misunderstood, especially around this issue.

 

 

Mobo2000

OK.   Not trying to be thick headed here, but just to be clear, when you say "this issue can be raised in this way without being an imperialist attack", I am assuming you mean the shitty law again.  

I guess we can leave things here.   I now think I get where you are coming from and I think our points of disagreement are clear.   I'm not happy with how things went on this thread either, and while I don't agree entirely with your interpretation of it, I don't want to try your patience or get into in more either.  

RE: traps, don't worry, of all the adjectives I might use to describe your posting style, "cautious" isn't one of them :)

Thank you for answering my questions.

6079_Smith_W

On the first paragraph. Yup. exactly.

To point out that it is wrong for the Russian government to be introducing a law to decriminalize assaulting women does not automatically make one an imperialist.

And yes, glad we got all of that sort of straight. It is refreshingly civil considering how it sometimes goes down.

 

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

If I may ask a stupid question, what is the dogwhistle secret message in this discussion? In the classic case of the Nixon southern strategy, the dog whistle was "States Rights" and the secret message was "Keepin' the niggers down". In this case, the dog whistle is "The Russians are passing a law to permit wife beating". But what is the hidden message?

sherpa-finn

In ikosmos' absence: "We need a stronger NATO to contain those sub-human Russians".

Pages

Topic locked