Accuracy in Media

If you thought it was strange that conservative columnist Pat Buchanan has become a passionate defender of Vladimir Putin, brace yourself for the fact that “far-right” French politician Marine Le Pen has also praised the former KGB officer. Putin’s posture as a “Christian” has made inroads in Europe, with Le Pen telling the Austrian daily Kurier that Putin defends “common values” and the “Christian heritage.”

Le Pen’s National Front party (FN), once considered a refuge for neo-Nazis, was the top vote-getter in France’s European elections, with 25.41 percent.

In Britain, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) came out on top, with 27.5 percent of the vote. Party leader Nigel Farage has also expressed his admiration for Putin and, to the surprise even of the left-wing Guardian, has been showing up regularly on Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT) television. Sounding like an agent of influence for Putin himself during one appearance favorably covered by RT, Farage claimed the European Union (EU) has “blood on its hands” for supporting Ukraine.

These extraordinary developments bring to mind the great book, How Democracies Perish, by French thinker Jean-Francois Revel. He participated in a 1984 U.S. Information Agency video on how the West is constantly fooled by “active measures,” including disinformation and influence operations, from Moscow.

A new report calls it “Russian information warfare,” as Putin confuses and misleads the West and its political leaders about his true intentions in Ukraine and elsewhere. The report, “The anatomy of Russian information warfare: The Crimean operation, a case study,” explains in detail how the disinformation campaign has been waged.

An article in The Kyiv [Ukraine] Post by William Schreiber, entitled “European Parliament election results bring no good news for Ukraine,” demonstrates how Putin’s influence has corrupted many different European political parties, on the right and left.

In fact, describing the results of the European elections, Schreiber reports, “In Greece, the left-wing Syriza led the vote, with over 26 percent. The far-right Golden Dawn placed third, with close to 10 percent, meaning Golden Dawn will enter the parliament for the first time ever. Despite their locations on the political spectrum, both Syriza and Golden Dawn rejected the legitimacy of Kyiv’s interim government and accused the EU of provoking Russia.”

So the right and left have come together on behalf of Moscow. This is true not only in Europe but America, where Communist Parties, leftist movements, and others sympathetic to Moscow have found themselves in bed with figures such as Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul in defending Russian aggression against Ukraine.

In Austria, Schreiber reports, the Freedom Party won 20 percent of Austrian voters, a significant leap in its representation. He says its head, Heinz-Christian Strache, opposes EU and U.S. sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Putin is finding allies all across the globe.

Consider South African President Jacob Zuma, a “former” member of the Communist Party (like Vladimir Putin), whose regime is a “strategic partner” with the Russian government.

Domestically, in his own version of Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of a country, Zuma is promising “the implementation of radical socio-economic transformation policies and programs over the next five years.” These include (in his words):

  • Strengthening and expanding the role of the state in the economy
  • Making state-owned enterprises and development finance institutions “engines of development, complementing the State in promoting inclusive economic growth”
  • Changing the ownership and control of the economy
  • Land restitution and redistribution

Ironically, South Africa is being touted as one of three vibrant democracies in a new “Democracy Works” report from the Legatum Institute and the Center for Development and Enterprise, even though Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC) just won another election on racial grounds, this time with 62.2 percent of votes. The ANC is a Communist Party front and has never lost a national election in black-ruled South Africa.

At a National Press Club press conference, I asked Ann Bernstein of the Center for Development and Enterprise in South Africa why her country should be seen as a worthwhile model of democracy and development. “South Africa has yet to pass that test,” she said, referring to national elections for a political party other than the one that has been in power. “But democracy is about a lot more than elections.” She insists much progress is being made there.

She did claim that “The Communist Party is actually a small part of South Africa. They’ve become important because they latch on to the ANC. And then some of them get into government and become ministers who introduced the most market-friendly policies you can imagine.”

It’s true that capitalism has not been destroyed in South Africa. The ANC Marxists understand the need for capital, just as Putin opened the door to American corporations and got a Russian “re-set” and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status from President Obama and Congress.

But it was apparent that Bernstein hadn’t read “The South African Road to Socialism,” a document on the website of the South African Communist Party, covering the period from 2012 to 2017. The document talks about the “mobilization of private capital into an NDR [National Democratic Revolution] struggle” (page 48) and how “rolling back” and “transforming” the capitalist market (page 51) is essential to progress. That is precisely what Zuma is doing.

If the South African Communist Party is so small and insignificant, then why did Nelson Mandela conceal his membership in the Party? She had no explanation.

Bernstein and Anne Applebaum, director of the Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum, made a number of appearances in Washington, D.C., including one hosted by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a federally funded organization. The NED has done some good work, but if this report becomes the basis for even more foreign aid to South Africa, the American taxpayers—and democracy—will not be served. South Africa functions like a one-party state, even though some private enterprise and freedom of the press are currently tolerated. The communists dominate the ANC government.

The list of funders for Bernstein’s group and her projects is quite impressive and includes the NED, along with some prominent U.S.-based conservative foundations. Yet, they have consistently failed to explain how a communist-ruled South Africa that is clearly on the road to socialism qualifies as a democracy in the sense that we understand the word.

To make matters worse, the South African government is a member of the BRICS alliance of nations, standing for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Their foreign ministers issued a statement opposing sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

Interestingly, India and Brazil were the other two countries included in the “Democracy Works” report. Brazil is ruled by a former communist terrorist, Dilma Rousseff. The regime tolerates some dissent but has been a solid ally over the years of dictatorships such as Castro’s Cuba.

India has been a functioning democracy, with power going back and forth between competing political parties. But the most recent winner of national elections, the “right-wing” Bharatiya Janata Party, issued a manifesto declaring it “will continue our dialogue, engagement and cooperation, with global forums like BRICS…” So its anti-American foreign policy will continue.

The two biggest members of BRICS, Russia and China, just signed a $400 billion gas deal, cementing what even the media recognize as a “strategic alliance” against the United States.

On every continent, it seems, the enemies of America are on the offensive.

But look at who the enemies are. In Afghanistan, where American troops continue to sacrifice their lives for some semblance of democracy, the Obama administration released the name of the CIA station chief in violation of the law that protects the identities of U.S. intelligence operatives. The White House called it a mistake.

So-called “mistakes” like this, in the face of determined enemies, make the survival of America and the Free World a matter of urgent debate.

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  • Richard Hellstrom

    I don’t understand France’s position against the Jews and their love of the Nazi’s – The bombs of WW2 made them the Jews and if they don’t believe me they can ask their grandparents –

  • tstraus

    Free? it is the rule by the giant institutionalized systems of bureaucratic coercive control. America and the EU being prime examples that is the threat to the “free” worlds false sense of freedom. Breaking up the giant Leviathans of massive centralized and very undemocratic systems in the West are the most critical issues freedom faces, otherwise we are just going to become another form of a fascist police state to those that “oppose” us.

    We really are just one homogenized fascist system with Putin and China being a faction and the American, British and EU being another–but the end result will be the same, tyranny and slavery. Governance should be returned more locally to the governed for it is they that not only have the real power, not the State, but it is they whose inalienable rights have been trampled for what is in their presumed, elitist and undemocratically directed “best interests”.

    We did not arrive at a state where all governments and all of their bureaucratic institutionalized systems of coercive control have become the anathema of the people because of the propaganda of Putin, but because of propaganda and falsity of the myths supporting our inherently flawed systems of governance-Break up the EU, breakdown the power of Washington and we will be far freer. In the US, perhaps it is time to return the Articles of Confederation!

  • Douglas Mayfield

    With respect to Mr. Kincaid and his previous work, which I have read and enjoyed, I think he is missing a fundamental point.
    Do all conservatives support the concept of strictly limited government? The answer is a clear, resounding ‘No!’
    (You don’t agree? Simply read, think about, what many conservatives write.)
    In fact, many so called conservatives profoundly, wholeheartedly, embrace big government. Their only quarrel with the concept is that they are not in charge.
    They are, in effect, jealous of the Left running that big government and express their jealousy in ‘hissy fits’ about Left wing ‘mismanagement’.
    But they have no problem with tyrants like Putin. They just desperately want to join him, or replace him, in enslaving people.
    Before you talk ‘democracy’, you must answer fundamental political questions such as ‘What is the relationship between the individual and the state? Does the individual have basic rights which should be inviolate?’
    The Left, and many conservatives, answer in the same way.
    ‘No. No inviolate individual rights. All rights are conditional on approval by the government.’
    Guess who’ll be in charge of the government’s ‘Bureau of Rights approval’?
    Guess how many basic rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of assembly, will actually be approved? Somewhere between zero, zilch, none, nada, and back again.
    Look carefully at the speeches and the writings of both the Left and certain conservatives. A pattern emerges.
    The Left wants to enslave us by having the government take total control of our economic and professional lives.
    Many on the right want to enslave us by having the government take total control of our personal and social lives.
    But their goal is the same. You, the individual, will be enslaved, cradle to grave.

  • Erudite Mavin

    “If you thought it was strange that conservative columnist Pat Buchanan has become a passionate defender of Vladimir Putin”

    Pat Buchanan has not been a conservative for at least a few decades or more.
    Buchanan is a Libertarian who parrots much of the Ron Paul propaganda
    especially support for Putin and the list goes on with the neo left and neo Nazi propaganda

  • Erudite Mavin

    Some of the French went with hate over reality.

    Vichy France, officially the French State (l’État français), was the government of the zone libre during the regime of Marshal Philippe Pétain, during World War II, from the German victory in the Battle of France (July 1940) to the enactment of Case Anton, following the Allied landings in North Africa. It thereafter lingered in existence as a puppet Nazi government in exile until the fall of the Third Reich in 1945.

  • Richard Hellstrom

    Yes – And they really isolated England into being the Jews in WW1 and WW2 – First Samuel Bush with the merchants of death and then Prescot Bush – Both wars were set up by the U.S. and Germany for profit. Of course Thyssen lost his butt in the first war and then got Rockefeller to get Wall Street to give 80 percent of the money to empower Hitler in #2. Chase and Union Banks were the main laundry money vessels. In 1951, the Bush’s reclaimed Union Bank from the US Alien Property Custodian and of course every one knows who owns chase bank – So my point is – England let the Americans and Germans get their people killed like dogs and the only thing they got out of it was they hated the Jews. Then they bought the Muslim brotherhood and attacked Israel with them to keep them from becoming a state ( F- ) and then sold them to the state department. It’s crazy –

  • Erudite Mavin

    Your line is the typical Radical Left and Libertarian BS. propaganda.

  • Richard Hellstrom

    Actually it’s from one of the foremost inside Nazi prosecutors. I’m pretty sure the U.S. wasn’t real happy about the disclosers but they said he could print it –

  • Erudite Mavin

    Try and document that. Should keep you busy looking for actual proof for the next decades.

  • Richard Hellstrom

    Some how I’m not following – It’s all documented by the government ! Nobodies denying it ! Well ! Except you ! lol

  • Erudite Mavin

    Your tin foil hat is on too tight

  • Richard Hellstrom

    Your post should read the governments tin foil hat is to tight since it’s their information – Tell him what’s untrue and I’m sure he’ll send you a file to help clarify your space issues – Any way – You seem to be an interesting chap ! So what do you do ! Buddy !

  • Erudite Mavin

    I am not a Buddy, am a woman.
    I spent many years as an administrator and more
    in a major setting, Switched to the legal field.
    Was legal support with the County Attorneys working
    mostly on homicides and child abuse cases. Many were national news. Did this for many years and now ret.
    I live in the real world and find the Left, Libertarians and Republican bashers repulsive and are the Democrats best allies.

  • Richard Hellstrom

    Then you should know that federal prosecutors don’t make up stories like that and put them in print and site the government records as their source – Theirs a whole host of legal liability that goes behind making those kind of false allegations = And – I’m sorry for calling you Buddy !

  • Erudite Mavin

    You are naive