Islamophobic or Blindly Malicious? US Seizes Quranic Tiles from Iran for Virginia Mosque

August 10, 2021

Islamophobic or Blindly Malicious? US Seizes Quranic Tiles from Iran for Virginia Mosque

By Staff, Agencies

Among the weirdest news a person might hear is that an enemy combats a religion’s culture and civilization.

It is either an aspect of Islamophobia, which is highly unlikely, or a blind maliciousness that the US custom authorities confiscated a set of Iranian tiles to be used in construction of a new mosque in Virginia, demanding they “must be shipped backed to Iran or destroyed.”

The tiles, which are adorned with Quranic verses, were shipped in June from the Iranian city of Qom, to be used in construction of the Manassas Mosque in northern Virginia.

However, they were confiscated at Dulles International Airport after they were deemed to violate sanctions on Iran, the mosque’s imam Abolfazl Nahidian said on Tuesday.

The tiles were a gift and he paid no money for them, but custom authorities at the airport blocked him from claiming them citing the sanctions, he told a news conference at the mosque.

A letter from Customs and Border Protection informed the mosque that the tiles must be either shipped back to Iran or destroyed, the Associated Press cited him as saying.

Destroying the tiles, which are adorned with Quranic verses, “is the same as destroying verses of the Quran, or the whole Quran itself”, Nahidian said.

The mosque is now asking the Biden administration to release the custom-made tiles.

Nahidian said he has received other tile shipments throughout the years without incident, including one shipment that arrived eight months ago. He has led the mosque for nearly three decades.

The Biden administration is locked in a standoff over the US return to a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, showing an aversion to remove the most draconian sanctions which its predecessor imposed on the Islamic Republic.

Biden has admitted that Washington was wrong to abandon the nuclear agreement, but he is showing an urge to retain some aspects of the sanctions as leverage to pressure Iran.

Food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are purportedly exempt from the sanctions that Washington imposed on Tehran after former president Donald Trump walked away from the international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

But the US measures targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred any dealing with Iranians – including humanitarian activities.

Western Civilization Has Been Destroyed by Diversity

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS • JULY 6, 2021

For decades liberal gentiles and jews have been lying to us that diversity within a single country is wonderful. Hiding behind this lie is an agenda to undermine every Western country by destroying its unity. The tool used was massive non-white immigration, supplemented in the United States with teaching blacks racial hatred of whites.

If you think blacks have not been taught to hate whites, watch the 13 minute video included in Fred Reed’s article and listen to blacks tell you how much they hate you ( https://www.unz.com/freed/blackness-fatigue-enough-is-too-much/ ). Not all blacks, of course, but the blacks who don’t hate us are “Uncle Toms.” The blacks who do hate white people tell us about it in the Black Arena Report: https://www.blackagendareport.com/freedom-rider-terrible-origins-july-4th

Blacks learn to hate us from liberal gentiles and jews who brought America Cultural Marxism from Germany in the 1930s. Hatred of whites is institutionalized in American education—-critical race theory—-but also in entertainment such as movies, songs, and books. A new entertainment medium has emerged-—woke horror movies concerned with the rise of Trump supporters portrayed as white supremacists. In these movies white supremacists draped in the American flag wipe out black communities. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/528241-forever-purge-trump-capitol-riot/

What most Americans know they have learned from movies and TV. Hardly any Americans read books, much less serious ones. Back in those days when I was a university professor, I recall a lecture I gave on the Russian revolution. A student interrupted me and said, “that’s not the way in happened in the movie.”

At first I thought he was making a joke, but he was serious. He was challenging my explanation based on years of study with a Hollywood movie.

As I have stressed for decades in my annual Christmas column, There is plenty of room for cultural diversity in the world, but not within a single country. A Tower of Babel has no culture. Without a culture there is no nation.

Western countries are no longer nations. There is no longer an American nation, a British nation, a French nation, a German nation. There are only multicultural hell-holes in which dwindling white majorities are so overwhelmed by guilt and self-doubt that they are unable to resist their disintegration and that of their country.

Fred Reed believes that white people, lacking leadership and a media, are slow to awareness, but that awareness is arriving with the consequence being a social explosion ( https://www.unz.com/freed/blackness-fatigue-enough-is-too-much/ ).

Perhaps or perhaps not. The decades of propaganda and indoctrination have done their damage. Entire generations of white ethnicities have been brainwashed against themselves. In the United States critical race theory is institutionalized in the educational system. It has become the norm, and part of the enculturation of American youth. We can be assured that a similar process has long been underway in Europe. Jean Raspail identified it in 1973 in his novel, The Camp of the Saints. Except for Marine Le Pen in France and Nigel Farage in Britain, no European ethnicity has a champion. All European leaders are on the side of the immigrant-invaders.

It is ironic that during the decades that Western civilization was destroyed Western leaders were focused on “nation building” in former colonies.

(Republished from PaulCraigRoberts.org by permission of author or representative)

Bernays and Propaganda – The Transition to Education and Commerce – Part 4

March 02, 2021

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By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

The success of Lippman and Bernays did not go unnoticed in many segments of American society. Universities in particular realised the potential of these new propaganda techniques to form, manipulate and control social perceptions and behavior. Schools and Universities in the US had never been viewed as an educational system but more as tools of a public disciplinary system, a method both of social control and a means to inculcate attitudes and beliefs most useful to the industrialists and bankers. This began before the time of Lippman and Bernays, with the great “Robber Barons”, the criminally rich families like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Mellon, Astor, DuPont, Guggenheim, Morgan, Vanderbilt. Andrew Carnegie first promoted the notion that the nation’s very rich should found universities in order to remake education to serve their needs. Many American industrialists joined this crusade, resulting in Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon, the University of Chicago and many more. Their efforts were widely publicised as a kind of benevolent charity to the nation, but their purpose was not to educate but to indoctrinate, using the educational system to create citizens obedient to their capitalist ideology and maintain their financial power.

They meant these institutions to preach the standard religious mythologies of patriotism and democracy, but also the values of child labor, slave wages, anathema toward labor unions and opposition to minimum wages, as a scheme to maintain their income disparity, basically to inculcate public attitudes that would serve to prevent any transference of wealth to the masses. These industrial and financial elites played a heavy role in the transformation of America’s educational system, first from their financial control and second from their power to design and control the ideologies that would emerge in the curricula, setting the stage for the methods of American education today, in particular the US business schools. Perhaps the most important consideration about American education that is so poorly-appreciated is that the American elite did not want (and still do not want) to improve the nation’s education level because both the multi-party political system and the US brand of capitalism require ignorance for survival, both relying heavily for their success on a thoughtless, uninformed, and uneducated population. (1)

Of course in all nations, the educational system is one of the primary institutions of social control, but with the aid of Lippman and Bernays the US went far beyond civilised norms. For both primary and secondary school, the intent was to establish social control by first producing a strong sense of national identity and cohesion, which led to, among other things, the mass hysteria of US patriotism so much in evidence today. It isn’t widely recognised that the ever-present and pervasive pathological American brand of patriotism is an extremely powerful mechanism of social control, to the extent that few Americans would be prepared to have themselves classified as ‘unpatriotic’. But to be patriotic in the American mold means one must firmly align one’s interests with the ruling elite. In America, you cannot be patriotic while condemning free-market capitalism or the frequent wars for its benefit, and it is distinctly unpatriotic to express a wish for a government-paid healthcare system or to protest against the banks that caused much of the population to lose their homes in 2008. As reporter George Seldes pointed out, (2) (3) this patriotism, the American way of taking pride in one’s country, forces the masses to ally themselves with the ruling powers, and this produces a kind of perpetual control. He said this deceptive propaganda has existed for so long that few are aware of how it came about or even that it exists. He ended his comment with the observation that if the media informed the people of this insidious control, it would lose its power. But the media, themselves aligned with the ruling powers, refuse to address it.

The purpose of the universities, in the view of these industrialists and bankers, was to develop by indoctrination a kind of management elite capable of controlling society in a way most useful to the top 1%. By the end of the First World War, the world was in the throes of a massive industrialisation as well as urbanisation, creating social stresses from problems of inequality and civil rights, with social unrest already a growing problem. To deal with this, American universities developed (under the tutelage of Lippman and Bernays) what they called the “social sciences” like sociology and psychology with the objective of producing a cadre of “social engineers and technicians” to address these issues and control American society. The ‘secret government’ believed that psychology, with the techniques so skillfully applied by Bernays, could “be instrumental for attaining democratic social order and control”. The theory was that individuals in society were not “well adjusted” and that propaganda could be used to appropriately “adjust” them. From this point, with the educational system as a major instrument, the US transitioned into a society of social engineering and control, using Bernays’ methods directly upon primary, high school and university students to form and manipulate public perceptions and beliefs in a manner most useful to the secret government and the multi-nationals they controlled. Neither the good of the nation nor the welfare of its citizens were listed as priorities. Of course, education itself became diseased and corrupted by these measures.

Socialism was perhaps the greatest enemy to the entrenched ability of the bankers and industrialists to loot the nation, with items like minimum wages, free education or medical care severely restraining the greed of the elites, and thus socialism quickly became public enemy no. 1 in the American educational system. For generations, Bernays and his heirs filled the minds and hearts of American children with a fear of socialism, equating it to godless nations ruled by brutal dictators where citizens had no freedom. The propaganda was extremely powerful and the brainwashing began very early in life – as it still does today. Consider this example from a current American elementary school book: The question posed is “Which of the following goes with socialism?”, with the student offered three possible answer choices:

  • A Political system in which a dictator rules, and there are no freedoms.
  • An Economic system in which the government owns the big businesses.
  • An Economic system in which businesses are privately owned.

Of course, the correct answer is “none of the above”, but in American schools the first two evil choices are the only correct answers, small children learning very early on that private-enterprise capitalism is the only way to fly, socialism not only to be avoided but to even explore that system is equated to seeking information on Satan worship. The doors to these little American minds are firmly slammed shut very early in life, never to be opened again, an integral part of their political-religious indoctrination. The false tenets of American capitalism are given vast prime-time exposure, again closing the little minds forever to any understanding of what they are for or why they are for it. (4)

Yale University, working with huge grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, created a propaganda institute to perform practical research on issues “directly concerned with the problems of man’s individual and group conduct” and “to correlate knowledge and coordinate technique in related fields”. The stated purpose was to better “understand human life”, but the intent was to utilise that understanding for the control of the population. There was a Princeton University Radio Project to discover the most effective way to use broadcasting for population indoctrination and control, the techniques being adopted by the VOA, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Free Asia. The internet and Princeton archives appear to have been scrubbed clean of information on this.

And indeed Princeton was so heavily involved in propaganda, subterfuge and spy-craft, that it provided the bulk of the staff for the OSS and CIA during their formative years. (5) As with most everything else regarding the US, the American universities were even much worse than imagined, being deeply into the CIA’s murderous MK-ULTRA program of mind control that stretched for decades (6), as part of the Bernays-inspired search for population control mechanisms. In testimony to the US Senate, Senator Ted Kennedy stated that more than thirty US universities and institutions were involved in what he termed an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on citizens at all social levels, all without their knowledge or consent. (7)

The elite 1% founded not only universities but the Foundations that exist to this day, and for the same purposes of social control. Institutions like the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie Foundations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, were primarily created “to perpetuate predatory wealth through the control of information and the sources of information”, and quickly assumed missions of direct influence and control of the mindsets of many of the world’s leaders, or at least influential individuals. The Rockefeller Foundation has been pre-eminent in an astonishing array of social control initiatives that included population control in the real sense through sterilisation and war. And both the Rockefeller and Carnegie institutes funded and promoted the practice of eugenics, Carnegie recommending a national chain of gas chambers to eliminate the socially (and ideologically) unfit. (8) All of this twisted ideology stemmed from the same source.

The Rockefeller Foundation in one advertised instance held a major conference with “representatives of some of the largest financial interests” in the US, i.e. the Jewish European bankers who controlled the US FED, to promote a propaganda program to “educate the citizenry in pro-capitalistic ideology and thus relieve unrest”. In other words, employ the Freud/Bernays propaganda methods to teach the working class to stay poor for the benefit of the corporate elites and the bankers. This group believed it needed a “publicity bureau” that could “correct popular misinformation” by providing “a constant stream of correct information” delivered to the lower and middle classes on their proper place in society. They then set about creating a powerful research organisation to study “social problems” and “the causes of social and economic evils”, portraying themselves as disinterested scientists searching for the public good while actually focused on propaganda, public indoctrination and secret social control.

All the so-called Foundations and Think Tanks established during the past century shared the purpose of steering society and social thought into desirable channels, and executing massive schemes of social engineering, eventually corrupting the educational system and co-opting all emerging social movements for the benefit of Bernays’ ‘secret government. American society, primarily through the educational system and the use of the new social sciences was being almost totally re-created to serve its ultimate masters.

A memo from the Rockefeller historical archives revealed a concern that their purposes might become public knowledge and be “misinterpreted” since public opinion would naturally be violently opposed to such secret programming. Senators and Congressmen rightly feared these Foundations were dangerous to their society and form of government, and recommended their abolition, but the elected portions of the government have never had the power to control the secret government. The US Congress stated that these foundations, with their wealth and influence, were “a grave menace to the welfare of society” and would be used not only to affect and control the government but to change its form. And try to change its form they would.

This is one reason most university business schools are funded by (and named after) their monied benefactors: money guides and even determines the curriculum. Many American universities today are merely servants of major industrial firms, virtually their entire research capabilities harnessed in pursuit of either commercial patents or discoveries of military value, the education of students becoming increasingly remote and inferior. In the end, the practices of Bernays’ propaganda and the private funding of education to serve private hidden interests became one and the same, the propaganda machine absorbing education itself, for the purpose of ‘adjusting’ the population to eliminate ‘misinformation’ and replace it with the ‘constant stream of correct information’ while firmly repressing all contradictory thought.

Interestingly, debt bondage is one of the main forms of social control and for this reason has always been heavily promoted in the US, its financial benefit to the private bankers being an added plus. New university graduates who are $200,000 in debt, homeowners with a huge mortgage, wage slaves with high credit card balances, are unlikely to risk their careers and livelihood by openly challenging the system. When an entire nation is heavily in debt, the people cannot afford to revolt. Meekness and silence are prerequisites for survival, especially in the almost total absence of labor unions. Thus, the American propaganda machine discouraged savings and encouraged consumption on credit. This was so true that as early as the 1920s as much as 90% of all major items like homes, cars, furniture and appliances purchased in the US, were bought on credit. (9)

  • Turning to Commerce

Lippman and Bernays also turned their attention to the manipulation and control of public attitudes toward advertising and commerce, which is why and how the vast propaganda machine transformed American culture into a materialistic consumer society. The consumption orientation was created solely to transfer wealth to the top 1% who owned most of the means of production and who would primarily benefit, mostly the same people constituting Bernays’ “invisible government”. The ease and potential of public manipulation fired the imagination of those who controlled the banks and multinational corporations, their minds opened to the vast potential to increase sales by turning Americans into appropriately conditioned consumers. They realised that if they could condition emotional responses into the subconscious of the American population without the awareness of the people, they could firmly control the purchasing attitudes and habits of an entire nation. And of course this was precisely the result, with the US economy today dependent for 75% of its life on consumer spending, Americans proclaiming this bizarre condition as a universal value and the will of God.

Following his political successes, Bernays set up shop on Madison Avenue and by the early 1920s was already doing for American products and branding what he had done for war marketing, that is to say, using propaganda to manipulate and control public perception and behavior, in this case to create not only mindless consumers but to fabricate and permanently instill in the American mind the myth of brands. Bernays quickly attracted more corporate clients than he could handle, with most large firms tripping over themselves to take advantage of the power of propaganda and mind control to loot the nation’s bank accounts.

Advertising and Agencies

In 1957 Vance Packard published a best-selling book titled “The Hidden Persuaders”, that revealed in detail how advertisers were using psychologists and psychiatrists following Bernays’ manipulative methods to tap into our unconscious desires in order to “persuade” us to buy the products they were selling. (10) (11) The entire advertising industry succumbed to this siren call and today is a rat’s nest of (often) reprehensible manipulation of the public. Ad agencies would hold “focus groups” where they would surreptitiously record housewives and others discussing their inmost feelings, thoughts, desires on many matters, then use that information to subvert those and manipulate people into buying whatever they wanted to sell.

One instance that crossed my path was exposure to the story boards of a foreign advertising agency in Shanghai tasked with helping an American bank market credit cards to young Chinese. I was appalled at what I saw. The manipulation was to me not only disgusting but obscene. Someone had spent real money to ferret out the hidden desires, fears and aspirations of young Chinese, and turned that knowledge to looting their bank accounts. The conclusions were that these young people, university graduates, were now in an era of rising affluence and desired to be recognised as more than citizens of a third-world country, in a sense to be seen as worthy equals to young people of other nations. They had purchasing power, generally good taste, and wanted to be appreciated as valuable consumers. The recommendations were startling. “Tell him he’s a king. Use the tag line “The world is waiting for you”, and “With our credit card, you can have it all now”. Make him feel he is important and recognised, that he is valued because he is Chinese.” And, since this young person likely came from a one-child family where his wishes were important, “Do everything possible to push the “me, me, me, more, more, more” attitude.”

I encountered this by accident, and had an email exchange with a young Chinese on this topic. I cannot locate my original email but, from memory, this is what I wrote to him:

“A credit card is not magic, and it is not free. It is borrowed money that you will have to repay at a high rate of interest. No matter what they tell you, you cannot have it all, not now, and not without working and saving for it. Moreover, you are not a king. You are a nobody. You are just another dumb kid with a credit card, one of 300 million others like you. I am sorry to tell you the world is not waiting for you. The world doesn’t even know you exist and, if it did know, it wouldn’t care. That is the truth. I suggest you accept it and act accordingly.”

The American Auto Industry

The conduct of these propagandists, beginning with Lippmann and Bernays marketing war for Rothschild and their other masters in London, was clearly criminally insane. There is no way to place a positive spin on people who provoke a world war for their private benefit, but it is more difficult to grasp that their conduct in the commercial realm was (and still is) no less criminally insane. One example is the American auto industry and the American love affair with the automobile.

This is a long and interesting story which I have covered in detail here (12). Briefly, in the 1920s the world was turning to electric automobiles en masse and the advent of inexpensive electric public transport was sounding the death knell for gasoline-powered cars. General Motors and the major oil companies were facing a multiple crisis, and embarked on one of the greatest criminal frauds in history, killing off the electric car and mass transit in the US. But they didn’t stop there. Life in many of the world’s major cities is convenient and enjoyable without a car, partially due to excellent mass transit and partially to urban areas designed for human living rather than automobiles. But not in the US. GM and its friends infiltrated the civic planning faculties of major US universities and propagandised the construction of suburbs – which exist only in North America, physically segregating living, working and shopping spaces to make auto ownership mandatory. They also bribed and extorted the US government to abandon rail transport and invest solely in highways, again to make private auto ownership mandatory. The long term negative effects of this ruthless corporate conspiracy are literally beyond calculation. Then the public propaganda kicked in:

“America’s Love Affair with the Automobile” is presented as an expression of independent and freedom-loving America, where inexpensive mass transportation failed to evolve due to Americans’ individuality and desire for freedom, but that is a propaganda myth, a lie of enormous proportion. Today’s US car culture was the result of a massive conspiracy, like the consumer society, imposed on an unsuspecting nation through deceit and propaganda. After execution of the massive fraud, the American people were for generations complimented on their individualism, adventuresome spirit and their love of freedom and independence, and for the choices they believed they made but that had been made for them by others. Here as in no other market is it so true that Bernays’ capitalists were selling “not so much products as emotion itself, psychologically linking the act of purchasing an automobile to falsely-manufactured feelings of confidence, freedom, happiness, empowerment and independence, tying the very self-identity of Americans to the purchase of an automobile.” (13)

CONSUMER GOODS

Nestlé and the Baby Milk Companies

Mothers’ breast milk is universally acknowledged as far superior to artificial powdered milk for babies, being naturally sterile and containing all the necessary nutrition while, and very importantly, supplying the baby with multiple antibodies that provide immunity against many childhood illnesses and diseases. Almost all mothers are able to breastfeed their babies, who then become ill much less often than babies fed with artificial milk powder. Bottle-feeding with artificial milk has been long proven to present increasing dangers where mothers have poor or no access to necessary sterile facilities.

UNICEF and many other health groups have stated that about 1.5 million babies die each year from simple ailments like diarrhea, common in babies drinking artificial powdered milk, but that almost never occur with breast-fed babies. The WHO and a number of other international organisations claim that “Over 4,000 babies die every day in poor countries because they’re not breastfed. That’s not conjecture, it’s fact.” Since the end of World War II, approximately 50 million infants have died from this one cause, but Nestlé, Danone, Wyeth, Mead Johnson and Abbott are hugely profitable.

In one of the most criminal and anti-human campaigns ever produced by Bernays and his heirs, a few industrialists conspired to create a reprehensible propaganda offensive to convince the world’s mothers, most especially those in undeveloped countries, to avoid breast-feeding their babies. It was a direct and deliberate attack on one of the most basic of human functions while ignoring the enormous human cost in infant fatalities and illnesses for which they are in most cases directly (or at least indirectly) responsible.

They utilised the services of thousands of physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists, and marketing personnel, to learn how to penetrate the psyche of a new mother to discourage her from breastfeeding her own child. I can recall seeing in several poor countries billboards for baby milk that contained photos of ‘yellow-haired goddesses’, the essential sentiment being communicated was: “Beautiful white women don’t breastfeed their babies. It’s only you backward, uneducated and ignorant brown peasants who do that.” And this from a radio advertisement by US-based Borden milk in the 1950s that played this little song: “The child is going to die because the mother’s breast has given out. Mama o Mama the child cries. If you want your child to get well, give it KLIM milk.” (14) The executives and staff of baby milk companies like Nestlé are even more morally deformed than are those of Big Pharma (who are often owned and controlled by the same people), and have proven they will do whatever is necessary, use any tactics that produce sales, totally heedless to law, ethics or morality.

Bernays’ first corporate client was Proctor and Gamble (P&G), a client that wholeheartedly subscribed to his methods, their relationship lasting more than 30 years, with P&G adopting a marketing model driven by propaganda built on psychological manipulation. (15) Chinese mothers preferred washable cloth diapers, strongly resisting P&G’s marketing efforts for plastic Pampers, so P&G spent millions on psychologists and psychiatrists in attempts to identify the hidden fears and weaknesses in Chinese mothers so as to prey on those. And they found what they needed: the mothers’ concern for their baby’s health and his longer-term development and success in life. P&G then created a scenario based on claims that increased sleep would not only improve a baby’s health but would result in “improved cognitive development and academic achievement”, thereby presumably guaranteeing wealth and a successful career. They produced “studies” with “scientific results” that appeared palpably fraudulent, claiming that Chinese babies wearing Pampers fell asleep 30% faster than babies wearing cloth diapers, and further that their sleep while wearing Pampers would experience “50% Less Disruption”. (16) In an internal P&G staff promotional video, one Pampers brand manager boasted about his psychological fraud, saying, “We really had to change the mindset and educate [Chinese mothers] that using a diaper is not about convenience for you – it’s about your baby’s development. I’m talking about taking a product and literally changing consumer behavior to create a market for it.” Through this reprehensibly false propaganda, P&G were “educating” mothers to believe that wearing disposable diapers would dramatically enhance their child’s mental development. And boasting about their cleverness in doing so. (17)

The Barbie doll is a similar story, a product never intended for children. Barbie was a sex toy named Lili, created in Switzerland in the 1950s and popular primarily with perverted single men in Europe. A Jewish-American woman named Ruth Handler who, with her husband, owned the then-small company named Mattel toys, was on holiday in Germany and apparently fell in love with this doll, brought it to the US and began marketing it as a “more mature” companion for little girls “exploring womanhood”. Mothers were either disturbed or horrified, especially since Barbie’s “mature” body was “borderline pornographic” and seen as a serious danger “potentially damaging to young girls’ psyches”. That view is still held very strongly by millions of mothers all over the world who have banned this doll from their homes. But Handler, adopting Bernays’ propaganda methods, employed psychiatrists to learn how to change the values of American mothers in order to market this doll. The advice was to instruct mothers to consider Barbie as “a tool for teaching their daughters about the importance of appearance and femininity.” Just what every 3 year-old girl needed to help her grow up into a wholesome young woman – a plastic doll with big breasts and a sports car. I have always hated that doll.

It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that Starbucks offers some of the worst coffee on the planet, which is natural since it was designed to suit American tastes. But you may be surprised to learn that Starbucks is no longer selling coffee; they are now selling “experiences”. The marketers and advertisers, aided and abetted by the propagandists and their Freudian background, have concluded that there is an even better way to loot bank accounts than offering fake goods on credit. In their view, shops once sold commodities (coffee beans), then became ‘service firms’ (coffee shops) where the commodity was standardised and the distinguishing consumer attraction was the quality of service. Inherent in that shift was the degrading of the commodity – which was expensive – and replacing it with ‘service’ which cost nothing but an artificial smile. They have now moved to a new level where we sacrifice both the commodity and the service, and replace both with “an experience”.

Now, the offspring of Lippman and Bernays are spending huge money on psychologists and psychiatrists to fathom precisely what it is about going to a Starbucks or a Wal-Mart that can create a “positive emotional response”. Yes, I know. I almost choked writing that sentence, but these people are serious. They want to identify the underlying stimuli and then fabricate the circumstances in an attempt to provoke that response. If successful, the fake commodity and fake service can disappear to be replaced by a fake emotional experience that you will treasure and one day excitedly relate to your grandchildren. It is all a false reality created with contrived experiences that are not real, but Americans are already on international speaking tours proselytising the new marketing approach. And it’s all fake, in the same way that most of America is fake. Americans promoting this new view seem unable to recognise that any part of their new bible contrasts with reality, and react with offense when Europeans tell them “You Americans are all about image instead of reality. Everything about you is fake and superficial. You people are living in a cliché.”

It is true that sitting in a coffee shop in Vienna or at a sidewalk cafe in Rome can be a treasured experience, generated by dozens or perhaps even hundreds of charming small details that combine to create a genuine appreciation of one of life’s little pleasures. But these wonderful small experiences cannot be fabricated and still generate a pleasure of life, except perhaps for Americans who appear to have lost entirely the ability to distinguish the sizzle from the steak and to whom the only genuine reality is superficial. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting one’s customers to have a good experience, but the American attitude toward creating these is not genuine or sincere; it is cheap, fake, and artificial, a psycho-induced emotional response to a fake reality. Instead of trying to understand how to give customers a real, genuine, pleasant experience as they would receive in Vienna or Rome, the Americans are spending millions trying to understand how to fabricate in their customers the artificial “feelings” of an experience without actually giving them anything. One needs to wonder what the hell Americans think about, what goes on in those minds. And, if anybody needs an “experience” so badly they have to go to a Starbucks or a Wal-Mart to find it, what they really need is a life.

I could go on, but these cases illustrate the point I want to make. There was a time when manufacturers focused on making products that people wanted to buy but, with the success of Bernays’ twisted and manipulative “propaganda”, they now employ psychologists and psychiatrists to probe the human psyche and find a way to permanently alter (and corrupt) the human mind to buy whatever these people want to sell. There is much more to this, including the concept of branding, that I will cover in a later essay.

Let’s review. By the early 1900s, Lippman and Bernays had learned from experience the methods of creating an extensive, false, and emotionally-provocative imagery and to use this fabricated mythology to control the perceptions and manipulate the opinions and behavior of the population of an entire nation. It had first been done for political purposes during wartime, to create immense racial hatred and push a nation into war, but was clearly just as applicable to political and commercial ambitions. At the same time, the wealthy elite of the nation created the higher echelons of an American educational system that would use essentially the same principles to entrench themselves in perpetuity by maintaining the bewildered herd as a kind of feudal colony of impoverished consumers. Those controlling the banks and large corporations were not content to stop with the educational system when they realised the broader possibilities of influencing the population through a nationwide scale of propaganda disguised as advertising, which led in turn to the creation and rapid development of the American advertising industry based almost entirely on the principles Lippman and Bernays identified. We then had the media, beginning with print and radio but rapidly including the movies and then television, being the vehicles through which this grand plan of population control would be executed.

In summation, we have a grand conspiracy by a relative handful of people to manipulate and control the perceptions and beliefs of an entire nation of people, entirely for perverted purposes. Perhaps the word ‘conspiracy’ is inaccurate, since these categories of players were in some sense acting independently or at least in different spheres such as advertising and media control or education and politics, but the net result is not different from what would have occurred had there been a tightly-organised conspiracy. Certainly, each knew what the other was doing, and would have been fully aware of the effects of their combined efforts. If we connect these dots, we have the European Jewish bankers and their many huge corporations, and the wealthy US elites exercising enormous control over the US government and effectively taking full charge of American education, of banking and the economy, of industrial production and, most important of all, of the mental and emotional content of the American people.

In every case, there was no concern for the good of the people or of a nation, no value placed on human lives, the human experience, or the human environment. It was only about the money to be derived from social control. Lippman and Bernays are gone, but their mainstay of immoral, manipulative and deceptive practices is as virulent as ever. As Shakespeare told us in Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones”.

Introduction – If America Dissolves – https://thesaker.is/if-america-dissolves/
Bernays and Propaganda – Part 1 of 5 — https://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda/
Bernays and Propaganda – Part 2 of 5 — The Marketing of War — https://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda-the-marketing-of-war/
Bernays and Propaganda – Part 3 of 5 – Democracy Control – http://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda-democracy-control/
Bernays and Propaganda – Part 4 of 5 –The Transition to Education and Commerce

*

Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 30 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’.

His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/

and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Notes

(1) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/substandard-education-in-america.html

(2) https://www.libertarianism.org/people/george-seldes

(3) https://www.amazon.com/You-Cant-That-Attempting-Patriotism/dp/1332838243

(4) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/what-is-difference-between-capitalism.html

(5) https://paw.princeton.edu/article/p-source

(6) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/07/cia-project-mk-ultra-july-2-2020.html

(7) https://ascensionglossary.com/index.php/Project_MKUltra

(8) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/07/the-pleasures-of-depopulating-earth.html

(9) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/lets-have-financial-crisis-first-we.html

(10) https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Persuaders-Vance-Packard/dp/097884310X

(11) https://www.nurturedevelopment.org/blog/the-7-tactics-of-hidden-persuaders/

(12) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/the-american-love-affair-with.html

(13) This quote is not original, but I have lost the source.

(14) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/10/en-larry-romanoff-nestle-murdering-with.html

(15) http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/en-larry-romanoff-criminal-corporations-proctor-gamble-clean-face-dirty-heart/

(16) http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-pg-brought-the-diaper-revolution-to-china/

(17) http://www.forbes.com/sites/china/2010/04/27/how-procter-and-gamble-cultivates-customers-in-china/

Ritual Public Shaming

So Much Respectful to Lebanese Judiciary! US Paying Amer Fahkoury Regular Consular Visits

So Much Respectful to Lebanese Judiciary! US Paying Amer Fahkoury Regular Consular Visits

Very much ‘concerned’ US over agent Amer Fakhoury’s detention is sending delegates on regular basis to visit him in his medical facility

By Zeinab Daher

Beirut – Sometimes it turns very questionable to see a country voicing support for a murderer who killed and tortured his nationals while delightedly serving his country’s occupiers.

And some other times, it turns more doubtful that this same country remains silent about a horrific murder and dismembering of a journalist, who was its resident, by its ally.

But wait! Does it actually seem that the issue in both cases is the same? Maybe yes. It is the same country standing by the side of the murderer while hiding when it comes to the victim.

It is even much alike, our case here is, plus being aligned with the criminal murderer, an obvious interference in another country’s sovereignty.

In the most recent blatant interference in Lebanon’s affairs and its judicial system, reports revealed that a senior US State Department official voiced late Monday his country’s ‘concern’ over the situation of Amer Fakhoury.

While all Lebanese nationals and the relatives of his victims were demanding his execution, and even labeling him as the ‘slaughterer of Khiaym’ Detention Center, the US administration was shamelessly supporting Fakhoury, who himself confessed before the Lebanese Military Tribunal his role as a leader in the ‘Israeli’ proxy in South Lebanon.

Furthermore, this official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told a group of reporters that “we have routine consular visits with him” and that Fakhoury had been removed from his detention facility and was now in a medical facility.

“We are in routine touch with his family as well. I don’t – I think we are engaged with the government of Lebanon about his release. I don’t think I have the ability to provide further comment on Amer because of what is – he has to sign certain waivers for that to occur,” he added.

Amer Fakhoury returned to Lebanon coming from the United States in September of 2019.

Fakhoury closed his New Hampshire restaurant before heading to Lebanon.

He entered the country through Beirut International Airport. Upon arrival, the airport employee noticed that the man, holding an American passport, was a ‘wanted’ citizen. However, as the employee examined the issue, he learned that the decision to arrest him has been ‘withdrawn’ that’s why he was allowed to enter the country but after revoking his passport.

Fakhoury was later detained and referred to the Military Tribunal on September 13. After questioning by the General Security, he confessed to “cooperating with and working for” the ‘Israeli’ enemy that occupied the country and humiliated the nation for 22 years.

He had served in the Khiyam Detention Camp under the ‘Israeli’ occupation as a military commander of ‘Israel’s’ so-called South Lebanon Army that was commanded by Antoine Lahd.

There was a national consent that Fakhoury was the most notorious of all agents who served for the ‘Israeli’ occupation enemy. This was proved through testimonies of the families of those who were either killed or maimed as a result of torture inside the detention camp.

During his service, the enemy’s agent caused incurable injuries among almost all detainees, not to mention those who were martyred under torture.

Since then, all Lebanese nationals, but most precisely the relatives Fakhoury’s victims has been outraged by his return.

Russian Federation – Minister for Foreign Affairs Addresses General Debate, 74th Session

Source

September 27, 2019

Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, addresses the general debate of the 74th Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 24 – 30 September 2019).

Transcript : http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3822351

28 September 201900:13
Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 27, 2019

Unofficial translation

Distinguished Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations which was established as a result of the Victory in World War II and the realization of the need for a collective mechanism to maintain international peace and security, is getting closer. Regrettably, the events of the Cold War, which started soon after, prevented this tremendous creative potential from being unleashed.

The hope arose again almost 30 years ago when the Berlin Wall symbolizing confrontation of the two irreconcilable systems fell. It was the hope for the possibility to finally turn the grievous pages of wars – not only hot but also cold – and to join efforts for the benefit of all mankind.

However, we have to admit – although World War III was prevented thanks to the UN, the number of conflicts on the planet has not declined and enmity has not weakened. New most acute challenges emerged – international terrorism, drug trafficking, climate change, illegal migration, the growing gap between the rich and the poor. It is getting harder to address these and many other challenges from year to year. The fragmentation of international community is only increasing.

In our view, the reason for the current state of affairs lies, first and foremost, in the unwillingness of the countries which declared themselves winners in the Cold War to reckon with the legitimate interests of all other states, to accept the realities of the objective course of history.

It is hard for the West to put up with its weakening centuries-long dominance in world affairs. New centers of economic growth and political influence have emerged and are developing. Without them it is impossible to find sustainable solution to the global challenges which can be addressed only on the firm basis of the UN Charter through the balance of interests of all states.

Leading Western countries are trying to impede the development of the polycentric world, to recover their privileged positions, to impose standards of conduct based on the narrow Western interpretation of liberalism on others. In a nutshell, “we are liberals, and we can do anything”. Pursuing these aspirations, the West is less frequently recalling international law and more often and importunately dwelling upon the “rules-based order”.

The aim of such a concept is obvious – to revise the norms of international law which no longer suit the West, to substitute it for the “rules” adjusted to its self-serving schemes which are elaborated depending on the political expediency, and to proclaim the West and only the West as an indisputable source of legitimacy. For instance, when it is advantageous, the right of the peoples to self-determination has significance and when it is not – it is declared “illegal”.

In order to justify revisionist “rules” the West resorts to manipulation of public consciousness, dissemination of false information, double standards on human rights, suppression of undesirable media, bans on practicing journalism. Moreover, the West got “apt students” among its wards on the post-Soviet territory.

Instead of equal collective work, closed formats beyond legitimate multilateral framework are being created, and approaches agreed upon behind closed doors by a narrow group of the “select few” are then declared “multilateral agreements”. This is accompanied by the attempts to “privatize” the secretariats of international organizations, to use them in order to advance non-consensual ideas in circumvention of universal mechanisms.

Attacks on international law are looming large. The US withdrawal from the JCPOA endorsed by UNSC Resolution 2231 is broadly discussed. Washington not just repudiated its obligations enshrined in this Resolution but started demanding from others to play by American “rules” and sabotage its implementation.

The United States set a tough course for abolishing the UN resolutions on international legal framework of the Middle East settlement. It suggests waiting for some “deal of the century”, meanwhile it has taken unilateral decisions on Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. A two-state solution to the Palestinian issue – which is essential for satisfying the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and providing security for Israel and the whole region – is under threat.

Apparently, when NATO members were bombing Libya blatantly violating the UNSC resolution, they were also guided by the logic of their “rules-based order”. It resulted in the destruction of Libyan statehood, and international community is still disentangling the disastrous repercussions of NATO’s adventure with African countries affected the most.

“Hidden agendas” in countering terrorism remain – despite the universally binding Security Council decisions on listing terrorist organizations, some countries made it a “rule” to cover terrorists and even to engage in cooperation with them on the ground as it is happening, for instance, in Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. The United States has already been saying it loud that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is a rather moderate structure which “can be dealt with”. As recent discussions on the situation in the Syrian Idlib showed, the United States wants to induce members of the UNSC to such unacceptable logic.

The West also has its own “rules” regarding the Balkans where it is pursuing an open course for undermining the UNSC decisions on Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina settlement.

Universal conventions together with the SC resolutions are an integral part of international law. The West would like to substitute even them for its “rules” as it happened in the OPCW whose Technical Secretariat was illegally granted “attributive” functions through unlawful manipulations and unscrupulous pressure in direct violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and exclusive prerogatives of the Security Council.

Playing with Conventions obliging all countries to provide linguistic, educational, religious and other rights of national minorities continue. Even here our Western colleagues are guided by their “rules” – they turn a blind eye to the open denial of national minorities’ relevant rights and indulge the retaining of an ignominious phenomenon of statelessness in Europe.

The course for the revision of international law is more frequently observed in the persistent policy of rewriting the history of World War II, justifying an increasing number of manifestations of neo-Nazism, vandalism against the monuments to the liberators of Europe and Holocaust victims.

The key principles of the UN Charter – non-interference in internal affairs, non-use of force or the threat of force – are also undergoing durability tests.

We are now facing the attempts to add Venezuela to the list of countries whose statehood was destroyed before our eyes through aggression or coups inspired from abroad. Like the overwhelming majority of the UN members, Russia is rejecting the attempts to return the “rules” dating back to the times of Monroe Doctrine to Latin America, to change from outside regimes in sovereign states descending to the methods of military blackmail, unlawful coercion and blockade as it happens in relation to Cuba in defiance of the UN resolutions.

Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples adopted at the initiative of our country. However, a number of Western states are still clinging to the old “rules”, ignoring this Declaration and other decisions of the General Assembly on decolonization addressed directly to them, while keeping former overseas territories under their control.

This November marks another anniversary – 20 years since the adoption of the Charter for European Security and the Platform for Co-operative Security. These documents set out principles of cooperation for all countries and organizations in the Euro-Atlantic region. Heads of states and governments solemnly declared that no one should provide his own security at the expense of other’s security. Regrettably, the consensus reached back then today is substituted for taken as a “rule” NATO practice, the organization which continues thinking in terms of searching for enemies, while moving its military infrastructure to the East to the Russian borders and increasing its military budgets, although they already exceed the Russian one more than 20 times. We call on NATO to return to the agreements on shaping equal and indivisible security in the OSCE area. Recently, responsible European politicians have been speaking in favor of it, which, in particular, was demonstrated during the meeting of the Presidents of the Russian Federation and France in August.

The Asia-Pacific region needs a reliable and open architecture. It is dangerous to yield to the temptation and divide it into conflicting blocs. Such attempts will contradict the task to join efforts of all countries in the region in order to effectively address the continuing threats and challenges there, including the task to resolve a whole range of issues on the Korean Peninsula exclusively by peaceful means.

Actions taken by the United States, which, following its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, destroyed the INF Treaty with the overwhelming support of all NATO members, caused a huge damage to the global system of strategic stability which had been established for decades. Now the United States is questioning the future of the New START Treaty, refusing to ratify the CTBT. Moreover, it has lowered the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons in its doctrinal documents. The United States is setting course for transforming cyberspace and outer space into the arena for military confrontation.

In order to prevent further escalation of tensions, Russia proposed several initiatives. President Vladimir Putin announced the decision not to deploy land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in Europe or other regions if and as long as the Americans refrain from doing it. We called on the United States and NATO to join such a moratorium. We have also repeatedly suggested Washington that we start negotiations on prolonging the New START Treaty. Together with China we support the harmonization of a legally binding document on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. So far, the reaction of the United States and its allies has not been encouraging.

We are alarmed by the protracted lack of answer to our proposal made to American colleagues already a year ago – to adopt a high-level Russian-American statement on unacceptability and inadmissibility of the nuclear war which by definition cannot have a winner. We call on all countries to support this initiative.

Today I would like to make an announcement – at the current session of the General Assembly we are introducing a draft resolution on Strengthening and Developing the System of Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Agreements. We invite everyone to conduct substantial talks. The adoption of the resolution would greatly contribute to the creation of conditions for a successful hosting of another NPT Review Conference next year.

Russia will continue to work persistently in order to strengthen universal security. In this sphere, we are acting with utmost responsibility, exercising restraint in enhancing defence capacity – obviously, without any damage to the effective delivery of national security and in full compliance with international law.

We support the consolidation of efforts to combat international terrorism under the auspices of the UN. In the interests of mobilizing the potential of regional organizations to suppress the terrorist threat Russia initiated a Ministerial meeting of the Security Council with the participation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Among the most critical tasks of the world community is elaboration of generally acceptable approaches to the digital sphere management and understanding of the processes related to the creation of artificial intelligence. Last year, the General Assembly endorsed the beginning of the substantive work on discussing the rules of the responsible conduct of states in information space. Resolution on Combating Cybercrime was adopted at Russia’s initiative. It is important to work for achieving legally binding agreements on all aspects of international information security.

We need to step up efforts to facilitate the settlement of numerous crises and conflicts in all regions of the world. The main point is to seek compliance with already existing agreements from parties without allowing them to invent pretexts to refuse from implementing obligations already taken during negotiations. This also concerns conflicts on the post-Soviet territory, including the need to strictly follow the provisions of the Minsk Package of Measures to settle the crisis in the East of Ukraine.

In Syria, where major success in combating terrorism has been achieved, further advancement of the political process lead by the Syrians with the assistance of the UN is at the forefront. With the decisive contribution of Russia, Turkey, and Iran as guarantors of the Astana format, the establishment of the Constitutional Committee has been finished, which was announced by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres a few days ago. Post-conflict reconstruction and creation of conditions for the return of the refugees are the items on the agenda. Here the UN system is to play an important role.

Yet, on the whole, the Middle East and North Africa still face many challenges. We witness what is happening in Libya and Yemen. Prospects for the Palestinian settlement are on the verge of collapse. Efforts to play the “Kurdish card” – which is combustible for many countries – are alarming.

The Persian Gulf region is facing artificial escalation of tensions. We call on overcoming the existing disagreements through dialogue without baseless accusations. On our part, we made a contribution having presented this summer the renewed Russian concept of the collective security in this region.

Supporting the efforts of the African states to put an end to conflicts on their continent, yesterday Russia organized the meeting of the Security Council on strengthening peace and security in Africa. At the end of October, Sochi will host the first ever Russia-Africa Summit. We hope its outcomes will help increase the effectiveness of addressing modern challenges and threats and of work to overcome the problems of development African countries are facing.

The reform of the SC is aimed at improving the UN anti-crisis and peacekeeping activities. Given the realities of the multipolar world, the main task is to find a formula which would correct an obvious geopolitical imbalance in its current composition and would ensure increased representation of African, Asian, and Latin American countries in the Council with the broadest possible agreement of the UN Member States.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dividing lines are harmful not only to the world politics but also to the economy. Its inclusive growth is curbed as a result of the WTO norms being substituted for other “rules” – methods of unfair competition, protectionism, trade wars, unilateral sanctions, and open abuse of the American dollar status. All this leads to the fragmentation of the global economic space, negatively affects people’s standards of living. We believe it necessary to get back to the substantial work both in the UN system organizations and in the G-20. To this end, we will contribute to the creation of favorable conditions, including through the opportunities offered by BRICS, where Russia will assume the chairmanship in 2020.

Together with other like-minded countries we support the harmonization of integration processes. This philosophy lies at the core of President Vladimir Putin’s initiative of the Greater Eurasian Partnership involving the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), SCO, ASEAN, and which is open to all other Eurasian states, including the EU countries. We have already started moving in this direction by interconnecting development plans of the EAEU and the Chinese Belt And Road Initiative. Consistent implementation of these endeavors will contribute not only to increasing economic growth but also to laying a solid foundation in order to form the territory of peace, stability, and cooperation from Lisbon to Jakarta.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the run-up to the next anniversary of the United Nations, I would like to underline – the UN-centered system of the world order, despite all trials, is stable and has a great margin of safety. It is a kind of a safety net which guarantees – if the UN Charter is respected – a peaceful development of mankind through finding a balance of sometimes rather contradictory interests of various countries.

At the outcome of these 75 years the main conclusion is probably that the experience of de-ideologized cooperation of states at the face of common threat, gained in the years of that most severe war, is still relevant.

Today’s challenges and threats are no less dangerous.

Only working together we will be able to effectively address them. Half a century ago a prominent scientist and public figure, the Nobel Prize Laureate Andrei Sakharov wrote the following – The division of mankind threatens it with destruction. If mankind is to get away from the brink, it must overcome its divisions It was the unity which was considered the key task of the UN by its Founding Fathers. Let us be worthy of their legacy and memory.

Upside down or right side up? Comparing Chinese vs. Western civilizational hierarchies.

Upside down or right side up? Comparing Chinese vs. Western civilizational hierarchies.

By: Jeff J. Brown for The Saker Blog

 

Crosslinked with:

https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/08/14/upside-down-or-right-side-up-comparing-chinese-vs-western-civilizational-hierarchies-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190814/

https://youtu.be/rYmvCRQBybk

https://soundcloud.com/44-days/upside-down-or-right-side-up-comparing-chinese-vs-western-civilizational-hierarchies

 

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Pictured above: no wonder Chinese and Westerners don’t understand each other. They look at the world and their societies with diametrically opposed points of view. It’s like two peoples staring at each other through the opposite ends of a telescope. Everything is distorted. To paraphrase the great American poet Robert Frost, “And that my friends, makes all the difference”.

Note before starting: if you have not already done so, reading/listening to/watching my two recent posts comparing Chinese and Western governance will make this one much more meaningful (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/07/30/why-are-western-leaders-gawd-awful-bad-and-chinas-so-darn-competent-part-i-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190730/ and https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/08/07/why-are-western-leaders-gawd-awful-bad-and-chinas-so-darn-competent%ef%bc%9fpart-ii-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190807/).

Westerners can live and work in China for years and not see the obvious. I should know, since I was one of them. We occidentals are so brainwashed from birth, at home, in school, by government, media and advertising of our moral superiority over all those “other” dark skinned kinda-sorta people, that it’s easy to not see the trees in the proverbial forest of life. This is how I was, when living here from 1990-1997. Even after living and working for 21 years outside the US, mostly in Africa, Middle East and China, I was still blinded by my racism of Western cultural and moral superiority, a liberaloid do-gooder, wrapped up in identity politics, thinking I was better than most of my less cosmopolitan countrymen – sad to say – and I wasn’t much better. It was not until we came back to China in 2010 that the scales of racism finally fell from my eyes. This painful and humbling, but ultimately liberating experience is tracked through the three books of The China Trilogy (see below).

Looking at the above comparative chart and going back to the times of the Ancient Greeks, the quintessential Marlboro Man has been the fixture of Western civilization. Me, myself and I, free and unfettered, independent and on one’s own, to decide one’s destiny. Being an adventurer and warrior/gunslinger also fits the bill. Greek tales like Jason and the Argonauts, Iliad and the Odyssey and the swashbuckling myths of the deities slaughtering monsters (today’s inferior Dreaded Others) all extol the virtues of Solo Man.

Family comes next and even that is often contested and dysfunctional in the West. Help out a family member? Maybe, maybe not. It seems like every Western family I’ve ever gotten to know well, starting with mine, is rife with communication and contact between members cut off. Individual peeves and grudges trump trying to keep the family intact.

Working our way down this civilizational hierarchy, support for the neighborhood, city, province and country can happen, but frequently on “my terms” and “not in my backyard”. How dare you encroach on my freedoms! This, while citizens can be easily brainwashed with God and the flag, to fight in endless wars for rape, resources and plunder, with the price over the long term eventually being societal collapse.

For millennia, at the bottom of the Western shit heap is the government and leaders. You can’t blame Euranglolanders for not trusting or respecting their governments, since they usually act like gangsters stealing from the 99%, while sending the latter to die likes dogs in wars of expansion, exploitation and extraction, all to enrich their elite 1% masters. Organized criminals posing as leaders and governments masking cartels is standard operating procedure. It’s happening while I write.

Yet, in spite of all the pitfalls, it’s easy to see why the Western hierarchy of Solo Man is so intoxicating and flattering. What could be more important than… ME! One’s horizon in life is simplified. Me, myself and I concentrate the need and take complexity and nuance out of the equation. Life become linear, point A to point B. I’ll do whatever the hell I want, Bubba. Get back Jojo, it’s my space. Get outta of my way, this is MY lane! A friend in need is fucked indeed. What’s in it for me? The world is my oyster. Of course, I should be able wear a gun around town to protect myself. I’ve got individual rights. Ayn Rand’s “rational self-interest”. Gordon Gekko’s greed is not just good, greed is God. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours in mine, so you’re screwed. Might and treachery make right. Finders keepers losers weepers. Laissez-faire, bay-bee. Dog eat dog, the big dominate the little, the rich steal from the poor. Being entertained and amused becomes paramount. Mass production and super-consumption are in. More, more, more. Making personal sacrifices is decidedly uncool, as is delayed gratification. It is easy to see why the Western paradigm of Marlboro Man dovetails so perfectly with capitalism, neoliberalism and colonialism.

Now, in China, flip the West’s social hierarchy upside down. Suddenly, you are no longer Mr. and Mrs. Me. Welcome to being at the very bottom of civilization’s needs. Look up and your life is no longer simple and linear, but complex and elliptical – a tapestry of interconnections and expectations. Just in the family alone, Mom’s, Dad’s and Grandparents’ needs trump yours. Older relatives too. What’s mine is also my family’s. If you slack off, then how is the family supposed to help take care of the neighborhood? We all want to live in a nice town/city, don’t we, and you’re the start. Daily life becomes very intricate, cyclical and circular, giving and taking. This is not my lane, but everyone else’s too. Since life is so interwoven and interdependent, solidarity in helping others becomes the ideal. Suddenly, social harmony and peaceful coexistence are everything. You mean I have to share? I have many responsibilities to my community and country? You mean I should help the government and our leaders to work effectively, and keep the nation intact and prosperous? You bet your stinky tofu, you do.

It’s easy to see that being a Chinese citizen is a much bigger daily responsibility and the expectations of the many over the wants of the individual are so much greater than in Western civilization. Euranglolanders often feel superior over Chinese families, when they see young children here being loud, boisterous and spoiled rotten. They are for a few years. It’s the one time in their lives when they get to enjoy some of that Solo Man Me, Myself and I, because by the time they get first grade in school, China’s civilizational hierarchy starts to kick in and the expectations of everyone around them begin to weigh on their societal shoulders. For five or six years, they get to run wild a little bit, now it’s time to knuckle down and take their place on the bottom rung of the ladder.

Since you are on the hook for family, the country’s leaders and government, attributes like frugality and delayed gratification become the ideal. No wonder the Chinese have the highest savings rate of any large economy in the world. Even though buying personal gizmos and luxuries has never been higher, and Baba Beijing is exhorting the masses to consume more, to counteract the US’s tariff trade war, China’s savings rate is still 46% (https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/china/gross-savings-rate). This compares to Americans’ 17% (https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/united-states/gross-savings-rate).

All in the family. Since everybody collectively is more important than you, is it any wonder that China is a communist-socialist civilization and always has been?

It goes without saying that the two above portrayed hierarchies are meant to be painted black and white, to show the overarching contrast. Of course, there are generous, giving Westerners who believe in social solidarity and economic justice. As well, there are Chinese who are selfish, greedy and heartless. Yes, there are family feuds and estranged relatives. That’s not the point. The point is the diametrically opposed societal expectations and ideals that are held up for inspiration and guidance. In the West, it’s all about individualism and personal freedom. In China, it’s all about Mom, Dad, the mayor, governor, prime minister and president who come first.

And that, my friends, makes all the difference. The imperial West shattered China’s civilizational hierarchy for 110 years, when it flooded the country with opium, morphine and heroin, 1839-1949, and was able to rape and plunder the people with lustful abandon. Since communist liberation in 1949, China’s social hierarchy has been restored. Look at the comparative table at the beginning of this article one more time and ask yourself, Which country is going to succeed and prosper on the world stage, into the 22nd century?

I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.

Key words:

China, Racism, Culture, Ancient Greece, Marlboro Man, Individualism, Solidarity, Brainwash, Me Myself and I, 99%, 1%, Eurangloland, War, Ayn Rand, Gordon Gekko

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Bio: Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and for Badak Merah, Jeff authored China Is Communist, Dammit! – Dawn of the Red Dynasty(2017). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeSoundCloudStitcher RadioiTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey ClarkJames BradleyMoti NissaniGodfree RobertsHiroyuki HamadaThe Saker, and many others.

Jeff can be reached at China Risingjeff@brownlanglois.comFacebookTwitter, Wechat (Jeff_Brown-44_Days) and Whatsapp: +86-13823544196.

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Creative Commons: This article by Jeff J. Brown is available for re-publication free of charge under Creative Commons. It may be translated into any language and republished anywhere in the world. Editing is permitted of the article(s). You may edit my article(s) and bio to correct spelling, grammar, word usage and any misstatement of facts.

You may change any wording that may be culturally offensive or inappropriate to the reading audience. You may change the title of my article(s) and you may edit them to fit the desired space and word length preferred by your publication.

If you edit and publish my article(s) the only request is that the intended meaning in my article(s) not be changed or taken out of context. You may use the suggested graphics, which to the best of my knowledge are available free under Creative Commons, but I cannot guarantee that they may be used without the permission of their creator and/or owner. You may select your own choice of graphics, pictures and /and or videos (or none) that complement the intended meaning of my article. Please share and distribute this article widely. My contact email is jeff@brownlanglois.com.

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

South Front

22.07.2019

Vladimir Putin answered questions from American film director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone. The interview was recorded on June 19, 2019 in the Kremlin (source):

Oliver Stone: So, I interviewed Mr Medvedchuk. It was in Monte Carlo. He gave us a very interesting interview. He gave us his view of the Ukraine. I gather that you’re close with him.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I would not say that we are very close but we know each other well. He was President Kuchma’s Chief of Staff, and it was in this capacity at the time that he asked me to take part in the christening of his daughter. According to Russian Orthodox tradition, you can’t refuse such a request.

Oliver Stone: Oh, you cannot refuse it?

I thought it was a big honour for you to be the godfather of his daughter.

Vladimir Putin: It is always a great honour to be a godfather.

Oliver Stone: Well, how many children are you godfather to?

Vladimir Putin: I will not give a number but several people.

Oliver Stone: Wow. Is it like a hundred or three hundred?

Vladimir Putin: No, no, are you serious? Certainly not. Just a few.

Oliver Stone: Otherwise I would ask you to be the godfather for my daughter.

Vladimir Putin: Does she want to become an Orthodox Christian?

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone: Ok, we’ll make her that.

Vladimir Putin: You have to ask her.

Oliver Stone: As long as she stands in church, right?

Vladimir Putin: Of course. How old is she?

Oliver Stone: She is 22 now.

Vladimir Putin: Is she a believer?

Oliver Stone: Yes, she is a believer. She is raised Christian.

Vladimir Putin: I see.

Oliver Stone: You know, young people in America sometimes, they are different.

Vladimir Putin: Young people are different everywhere.

Oliver Stone: They are spoiled to some degree in the western world.

Vladimir Putin: It depends. The older generation always says that about the younger generation.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, I know, I know. That’s true. But I don’t know what is going on with the American culture. It’s very strange right now.

Vladimir Putin: Is there an American culture?

Oliver Stone: As you know, I’ve been very rebel all my life. Still am. And I have to tell you, I’m shocked by some of the behaviours and the thinking of the new generation. It takes so much for granted. And so much of the argument, so much of the thinking, so much of the newspaper, television commentaries about gender, people identify themselves, and social media, this and that, I’m male, I’m female, I’m transgender, I’m cisgender. It goes on forever, and there is a big fight about who is who. It seems like we miss the bigger point.

Vladimir Putin: They live too well. They have nothing to think about.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, but it’s not a healthy culture.

Vladimir Putin: Well, yes.

Oliver Stone: Years ago when we were talking about homosexuality, you said that in Russia we don’t propagate it.

Vladimir Putin: Not exactly. We have a law banning propaganda among minors.

Oliver Stone: Yes, that’s the one I’m talking about. It seems like maybe that’s a sensible law.

Vladimir Putin: It is aimed at allowing people to reach maturity and then decide who they are and how they want to live. There are no restrictions at all after this.

Oliver Stone: Ok. Mr Medvedchuk proposed recently, you know, a plan for solving the tensions in Ukraine between east and west. You know about this?

Vladimir Putin: To be honest, we do not talk so often. He has more free time than I do. But we meet from time to time, especially in connection with his efforts to get detainees released. He devotes much time to this.

He also told me something about his plans on Donbass but I do not know the details. At any rate, I consider it absolutely correct that he calls for direct dialogue with the people who live in Donbass. There is not a single example in recent history when a crisis was settled without direct contact between the sides to the conflict.

He says he thinks it is necessary to fully implement the Minsk agreements and I cannot help but agree with this as well. So, I know the elements of his proposals. He speaks about them in public and I agree.

Oliver Stone: Ok. They have a new president now. Has anything changed in Ukraine? Or still the same?

Vladimir Putin: Not yet. After all, the recent election was clearly a protest vote. A fairly large number of people supported the newly-elect President in central Ukraine, in the east and the south. And these are all people who sincerely seek a settlement in any event. During his election campaign President Zelensky continuously spoke about his readiness to do everything to solve this crisis. And then literally just yesterday, while in Paris, I think, he said suddenly he does not believe it is possible to hold talks with what he called separatists. This is clearly at odds with what he said during his election campaign.

Oliver Stone: So no change?

Vladimir Putin: Unfortunately, none for the time being.

Oliver Stone: Do you think there’s any revulsion? I mean, you were telling me about Ukraine and Russia. Do you think there is any reason for this hatred of Russia in Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin: You know, our relationship is not easy at the moment. This is the result of the grievous events linked with the coup d’état. The other part of this story is propaganda by the current government in Ukraine, which blames Russia for all the tragic events that ensued.

Oliver Stone: Well, historically, do you see these two countries coming together again?

Vladimir Putin: I think this is inevitable. At any rate, the cultivation of normal, friendly and, even more than friendly, allied relations is inevitable.

Oliver Stone: Yeah. Mr Medvedchuk would be a good liaison.

Vladimir Putin: I believe so. But our positions, our points of view, differ on many things. Mr Medvedchuk was born in the family of a man that was said to be convicted during the Soviet times for nationalist activities. He was born in Siberia, where his family and his father virtually lived in exile.

Oliver Stone: What’s the connection?

Vladimir Putin: Connection between what?

Oliver Stone: All this story to my question?

Vladimir Putin: The connection is that he has his own ideas about Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. For example, I believe that Russians and Ukrainians are actually one people.

Oliver Stone: One people, two nations?

Vladimir Putin: One nation, in fact.

Oliver Stone: You think it is one nation?

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

Click to see the full-size image

Vladimir Putin: Of course. Look, when these lands that are now the core of Ukraine, joined Russia, there were just three regions – Kiev, the Kiev region, northern and southern regions – nobody thought themselves to be anything but Russians, because it was all based on religious affiliation. They were all Orthodox and they considered themselves Russians. They did not want to be part of the Catholic world, where Poland was dragging them.

I understand very well that over the time the identity of this part of Russia crystallized, and people have the right to determine their identity. But later this factor was used to throw into imbalance the Russian Empire. But in fact, this is the same world sharing the same history, same religion, traditions, and a wide range of ties, close family ties among them.

At the same time, if a significant part of people who live in Ukraine today believe that they should emphasise their identity and fight for it, no one in Russia would be against this, including me. But, bearing in mind that we have many things in common, we can use this as our competitive advantage during some form of integration; it is obvious. However, the current government clearly doesn’t want this. I believe that in the end common sense will prevail, and we will finally arrive at the conclusion I have mentioned: rapprochement is inevitable.

Oliver Stone: I don’t think Mr Medvedchuk would agree. He would say: two nations, similar people. That what he would say, take a strong line on that.

Vladimir Putin: He doesn’t. That is what I am saying.

Oliver Stone: That’s what I’m saying. He does not agree.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, of course. This is what I am saying: our positions on some things, important ones, are different. But at the same time, he speaks in favour of establishing good relations with Russia in order to use these competitive advantages in the economy. He shows how today the Ukrainian economy is completely destroyed because it has lost the Russian market and, most importantly, cooperation in industry. Nobody needs Ukrainian industrial goods on Western markets, and that goes for agriculture too: very few goods are purchased. Round timber is in demand, but soon there will be no timber in Ukraine at all. It’s not like the vast expanses of Siberia.

For example, Europe often takes some steps towards Ukraine – or did so until recently – with, say, permitting purchases of round timber. And this is just one example. In fact, there are many more.

Oliver Stone: Well, someone told me today that Mr Medvedchuk’s party, For Life Party, is up 12 percent in the polls. So he is building a party that has a following, it seems to me.

Vladimir Putin: If so, that is good. To be honest, I don’t know. But if kit is true, that is good.

If so, we can only welcome this because he and his partners in the party stand for restoring relations with Russia. How could we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome it. I have known him for a long time. He keeps his word. If he says something, he does it.

Oliver Stone: So, he is a very courageous man, I think. His villa was bombed, his offices were bombed. He is under threat all the time. He is hanging in there, staying in his country.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, this is true because he has convictions. I mentioned that his father was a Ukrainian nationalist and was convicted by a Soviet court for this. Strange as it may seem but the founders, many founders of Ukrainian nationalism advocated good relations with Russia. They said good relations were necessary for the development of Ukraine itself.

Oliver Stone: When was that?

Vladimir Putin: This was in the 19th century. They came out for Ukraine’s independence but said that Ukraine must preserve good, friendly relations with Russia. Mr Medvedchuk adheres to similar ideas. This is why he has convictions. I may not agree with his position on something but I always respect it.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, two nations he says. When I hear the words “Ukrainian nationalism,” I get worried, because I think of Stepan Bandera and people who have convictions too.

Vladimir Putin: Me, too.

Oliver Stone: Ukrainian nationalism is dangerous too.

Vladimir Putin: In general nationalism is a sign of narrow-mindedness but I do not want to offend Mr Medvedchuk.

Oliver Stone: It’s words.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, but in any event, he is in the category of people who advocate independence, the consolidation of an independent Ukraine, but at the same time believe that it is easier to achieve this by pursuing cooperation with Russia. And I think he is largely right.

Oliver Stone: You’re very clear.

You talked about the coup d’état. Just want to revisit that because there has been a lot more research done. It seems that research has revealed that there were shooters, snipers at the Maidan. The forensics with the angle of shooting, bodies of the police and the protestors. It was all very badly investigated. Not at all really. But what evidence we have seems to point to there being, they say, Georgian shooters, people from Georgia. And I’ve heard that. Have you heard anything more on the Russian front?

Vladimir Putin: No but I know what you are talking about. I know that the authorities headed by President Yanukovych at that time did not use the army and were not interested in giving any excuse to the opposition to use force. And, as Mr Yanukovych told me repeatedly, it did not even occur to him to use force and the military against civilians, even against those who had already taken up arms. I completely rule out that he could have done this, but those who were looking for a pretext to stage a coup could have well done it, of course.

Oliver Stone: I remember you were telling me about the Obama phone call, Obama and you had an agreement that there would be no firing on the last day. And he gave you a promise that he would…

Vladimir Putin: You know, while Obama is no longer President, there are certain things we do not discuss in public. At any rate, I can say that the US did not follow through on the agreements that we reached during this phone call. I will stop there without going into detail.

Oliver Stone: Yes. So recently, you know Russia has been obviously accused and accused over and over again of interference in the 2016 election. As far as I know there is no proof, it has not turned up. But now in the US there has been an investigation going on about Ukraine’s interference in the election. It seems that it was a very confusing situation, and Poroshenko seems to have been very strongly pro-Clinton, anti-Trump.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, this is no secret.

Oliver Stone: Do you think there was interference?

Vladimir Putin: I do not think that this could be interpreted as interference by Ukraine. But it is perfectly obvious that Ukrainian oligarchs gave money to Trump’s opponents. I do not know whether they did this by themselves or with the knowledge of the authorities.

Oliver Stone: Where they giving information to the Clinton campaign?

Vladimir Putin: I do not know. I am being honest. I will not speak about what I do not know. I have enough problems of my own. They assumed Mrs Clinton would win and did everything to show loyalty to the future US administration. That is nothing special. They wanted the future President to have a good opinion of them. This is why they allowed themselves to make unflattering statements about Trump and supported the Democrats in every possible way. This is no secret at all. They acted almost in public.

Oliver Stone: You do not want to go any further on that because you do not have any information?

Vladimir Putin: You know, this would be inappropriate on my part. If I said something more specific, I would have to put some documents, some papers on the table.

Oliver Stone: You understand that it has huge implications because Mr Trump would be very grateful?

Vladimir Putin: I did not interfere then, I do not want to interfere now, and I am not going to interfere in the future.

Oliver Stone: But that is a noble motive. Unfortunately, the world has degenerated in these two years, with all this backbiting and accusations, dirty fighting. Anyway…

Vladimir Putin: There are no rules at all. It is no holds barred.

Oliver Stone: Well, you have rules. You say no interference.

Vladimir Putin: I have principles.

Oliver Stone: Ok. But you seem to have rules based on those principles.

Vladimir Putin: Well, yes.

Oliver Stone: Ok. Well, you are fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

Vladimir Putin: Why? You mean, because of these principles?

Oliver Stone: Yes. If you knew something about the election, it would tilt the balance in a very weird way.

Vladimir Putin: I think this is simply unrealistic. I have said so many times.

Oliver Stone: What is unrealistic?

Vladimir Putin: To change anything. If you want to return to US elections again – look, it is a huge country, a huge nation with its own problems, with its own views on what is good and what is bad, and with an understanding that in the past few years, say ten years, nothing has changed for the better for the middle class despite the enormous growth of prosperity for the ruling class and the wealthy. This is a fact that Trump’s election team understood. He understood this himself and made the most of it.

No matter what our bloggers – or whoever’s job it is to comment on the internet – might say about the situation in the US, this could not have played a decisive role. It is sheer nonsense. But our sympathies were with him because he said he wanted to restore normal relations with Russia. What is bad about that? Of course, we can only welcome this position.

Oliver Stone: Apparently, it excited the Clinton people a lot. The Clinton campaign accumulated the “Steele dossier.” They paid for it. It came from strange sources, the whole “Steele dossier” issue. Some of it comes from Ukraine. They also went out of their way, it seems to me, with the CIA, with Mr Brennan, John Brennan, and with Clapper, James Clapper, and Comey of the FBI. They all seem to have gotten involved, all intelligence agencies, in an anti-Trump way.

Vladimir Putin: They had levers inside the government, but there is nothing like that here. They applied administrative pressure. It always gives an advantage in countries such as the USA, some countries of Western Europe, about 2 percent on average, at a minimum.

Oliver Stone: Two percent? What are you talking about?

Vladimir Putin: Yes. According to experts, those with administrative pressure they can apply always have a 2 percent edge. You can look at it differently. Some experts believe that in different countries, it can vary, but in countries such as the United States, some European countries, the advantage is 2 percent. This is what experts say, they can be wrong.

Oliver Stone: I do not know. I heard of the one percent, but it seems to get more like 12 percent.

Vladimir Putin: That is possible, depending on how it is used.

Oliver Stone: Well, you are not disagreeing. You are saying that it was quite possible that there was an attempt to prevent Donald Trump from coming into office with a soft, I will call it a soft coup d’état?

Vladimir Putin: In the USA?

Oliver Stone: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: It is still going on.

Oliver Stone: A coup d’état is planned by people who have power inside.

Vladimir Putin: No, I do not mean that. I mean lack of respect for the will of the voters. I think it was unprecedented in the history of the United States.

Oliver Stone: What was unprecedented?

Vladimir Putin: It was the first time the losing side does not want to admit defeat and does not respect the will of the voters.

Oliver Stone: I would disagree. I would say it happened in 2000, that the Republicans lost the popular vote, they lost Florida, and they did not accept that, and they had a coup d’état in their way, a soft coup d’état also. And they put Bush in.

Vladimir Putin: But this was a court decision, as far as I remember.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, in a way, but the court decision was blocked. There was a vote going on. And if you remember the Brooks brothers’ riot, all those Republicans rushed to electoral offices in Miami, and they prevented the vote from going through in a county, in one of those major counties. It was a key factor. It was not like the Russian revolution. It was a minor event, but it was big. It shifted the momentum, totally. I remember that night. Then they referred it to the Supreme Court. Also, and the same thing in January 2017, when the intelligence assessment was released, what was it, January 7th,, a few days before Trump was to be inaugurated, the intelligence assessment actually said that the intelligence agencies suspected Trump would have been colluding with Russia. That is even bigger. That is an attempt at a coup d’état, because the electors in America still had the right to overturn the election vote.

Vladimir Putin: This is what they call unscrupulous application of administrative pressure.

Oliver Stone: Ok, ok, ok. Well, listen, it seems to be going on a lot more than we know. Talking about America and Russia, I have not seen you since the Kerch Strait. Any comments on that?

Vladimir Putin: No, I do not, as we have repeatedly said. The former President, Mr Poroshenko, staged this provocation intentionally during the election campaign. He was aware that people in the country’s east and south would not vote for him, and he used this provocation to escalate the situation and then declare a state of emergency there. I have reason to believe that he was going to declare a state of emergency in the entire country, and possibly to postpone the election as a result. Generally speaking, he was trying to hold on to power at all costs, and he was seeking any means to execute this plan. This was the regime’s death throes.

As far as I remember, recently the newly appointed Chief of the Ukrainian army’s General Staff has made a statement that offers roughly the same interpretation of events but perhaps using milder language.

Oliver Stone: Who gave that interpretation?

Vladimir Putin: Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Oliver Stone: Ok, but beyond Poroshenko, the United States has a shadow here. The United States knows what he is doing, and supported it.

Vladimir Putin: Absolutely.

Oliver Stone: It is the creation of a strategy of tension that worries me enormously. I have seen this happen in so many places now. I think I read on Monday, the Russian bombers, the Russian SU-57 escorted, what was it, the B-52 bomber, a nuclear bomber, US bomber, close to the Russian borders.

Vladimir Putin Interview With Oliver Stone

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Vladimir Putin: The Su-57 aircraft are just entering service. This is a fifth-generation jet fighter. It was the Su-27 that was mentioned.

Oliver Stone: Do you think that is normal?

Vladimir Putin: Actually, it is sad, probably, but this is common practice. US aircraft did not enter our airspace, and our aircraft did not conduct any high-risk maneuvers.

But generally speaking, this is not great. Just look where the Baltic or Black seas are located, and where the USA is. It was not us who approached US borders, but US aircraft that approached ours. Such practices had better stop.

Oliver Stone: In this continuing strategy of tension, there was a report in The New York Times last week that the Obama Administration, before they left office, put in what they call a cyber warfare device. It was inserted in Russian infrastructure in January 2017.

Vladimir Putin: This is being discussed almost openly. It was said Russia would be punished for interfering in the election campaign. We do not see anything extraordinary or unexpected here. This should be followed closely. That is the first thing.

The second is I believe that we only need to negotiate how we are to live in this high-tech world and develop uniform rules and means of monitoring each other’s actions. We have repeatedly proposed holding talks on this subject to come to some binding agreement.

Oliver Stone: Continuing that theme of strategy of tension, how is Russia affected by the US-Iranian confrontation?

Vladimir Putin: This worries us because this is happening near our borders. This may destabilize the situation around Iran, affect some countries with which we have very close relations, causing additional refugee flows on a large scale plus substantially damage the world economy as well as the global energy sector. All this is extremely disturbing. Therefore we would welcome any improvement when it comes to relations between the US and Iran. A simple escalation of tension will not be advantageous for anyone. It seems to me that this is also the case with the US. One might think that there are only benefits here, but there will be setbacks as well. The positive and negative factors have to be calculated.

Oliver Stone: Yeah. Scary.

Vladimir Putin: No, this is not scary.

Oliver Stone: You sound very depressed, much more depressed than last time.

Vladimir Putin: Last time the situation concerning Iran was not like this. Last time nobody said anything about getting into our energy and other networks. Last time the developments were more positive.

Oliver Stone: The situation is worse now?

Vladimir Putin: Take North Korea, they have also rolled back a bit. Trade wars are unfolding.

Oliver Stone: Venezuela.

Vladimir Putin: Venezuela as well. In other words, regrettably, the situation has not improved, so there is nothing special to be happy about. On the other hand, we feel confident. We have no problems.

Oliver Stone: Well, you are an optimist, and always have been?

Vladimir Putin: Exactly.

Oliver Stone: You are a peacemaker.

Vladimir Putin: Absolutely spot on.

Oliver Stone: So obviously, you have to get together with the Americans, and the Chinese, and the Iranians. I know.

Vladimir Putin: Just do not put the blame on us. Lately no matter what is happening, we always get the blame.

Oliver Stone: Well, the irony is that Mr Trump came to office promising that he was not going to interfere in other countries. He made this overall strategy, he was against the wars that we have started, and ever since he has been in office, it has got worse. Why, one wonders? Is he in charge, or are other people pushing these agendas?

Vladimir Putin: I think he is against this now, too. But life is complicated and diverse. To make the right decision it is necessary to fight for what you believe in.

Oliver Stone: Yeah, conviction.

It is your fourth term, are you getting tired?

Vladimir Putin: No, if I had been tired, I would not have run for the fourth term.

Oliver Stone: Ok. Listen, can I find out something? Let’s take a pause. I just want to ask my director if he wants to ask any more things about Ukraine. Five minutes?

Vladimir Putin: The director always has the final word; after all, he is the one calling the shots.

Oliver Stone: Thank you.

I think we are fine.

Vladimir Putin: Very well. Are we done?

Thank you so much.

Oliver Stone: Thank you, sir.

Vladimir Putin: Are you going back to the States?

Oliver Stone: I am very worried about you.

Vladimir Putin: Why?

Oliver Stone:I can see there are so many problems. It weighs you down. It is sad to see. It is a tough situation.

Vladimir Putin: It is all right. We have seen worse.

Oliver Stone: Russian bombes in Syria. What has happened to Skripal? Where is he?

Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. He is a spy, after all. He is always in hiding.

Oliver Stone: They say he was going to come back to Russia. He had some information.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, I have been told that he wants to make a written request to come back.

Oliver Stone: He knew still and he wanted to come back. He had information that he could give to the world press here in Russia.

Vladimir Putin: I doubt it. He has broken the ranks already. What kind of information can he possess?

Oliver Stone: Who poisoned him? They say English secret services did not want Sergei Skripal to come back to Russia?

Vladimir Putin: To be honest, I do not quite believe this. I do not believe this is the case.

Oliver Stone: Makes sense. You do not agree with me?

Vladimir Putin: If they had wanted to poison him, they would have done so.

Oliver Stone: Ok, that makes sense. I don’t know. Who did then?

Vladimir Putin: After all, this is not a hard thing to do in today’s world. In fact, a fraction of a milligram would have been enough to do the job. And if they had him in their hands, there was nothing complicated about it. No, this does not make sense. Maybe they just wanted to provoke a scandal.

Oliver Stone: I think it is more complicated. You know, you think I am much too much of a conspiracy guy.

Vladimir Putin: I do not believe this.

Oliver Stone: I have seen things. I do.

Vladimir Putin: You should not. Take care of yourself.

Oliver Stone: Can we get a picture?

Remark: This is a great honour for us. Can we take a picture with you?

Vladimir Putin: With pleasure.

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