The leaders of American clients Bahrain or Saudi Arabia are pikers compared to Putin. They do stomp out more lives in absolute numbers. But if you’ve never heard of their abuses on CNN, as you incessantly hear of Putin, it’s because they target merely gays and Shiites, obviously lower forms of humanity, whereas Putin exterminates journalists, who are surely the elect of the species. As it happens, one of the most widely-spread memes to illustrate Putin’s genocide of the journalist race—a photograph where unoccupied chairs stand for victims of his anti-press jihad—was quickly shown to be a fraud.
It turns out that many of these journalists were killed before Putin came to power, that is, during the 1990s, when American-supported Boris Yeltsin was president. Some were killed presumably by oligarchs who Putin sought to bring to heel and in some cases later imprisoned. As is customary, the retraction got far less attention than the original lie.
The reason the media emphasize Putin’s attacks on freedom of the press is of course to contrive a parallel to the bully Trump. Trump, after all, says mean things about CNN and questions its objectivity. Forget that Trump has not yet put journalists under surveillance, as Obama did, or spied on tens of thousands of Americans for political purposes. What matters is the promotion of a heroic narrative where America’s security service apparatchiks, crony oligarchs, and their quasi-state media, are engaged in an existential struggle against Trumpist “authoritarianism” on behalf of liberty and democracy.
But the truth is that the American-led “liberal world order” doesn’t do well in measures of liberty of press or of speech, even when compared to, say, 1980’s Communist Eastern Europe. France is well ahead of Russia, and behind only Turkey in censorship requests to Twitter. In Germany, France and OrwellianEngland, police carry out raids and jail people over Facebook posts questioning immigration and refugee policy. And jail for thoughtcrime can amount to a literal death sentence.
Although no clear studies exist, there’s a good chance that there are more political prisoners now in Germany than there were in the 1970s or 80s in Czechoslovakia and even in harsher “Soviet Yugoslavia,” to use a journalist-geographer’s recent coinage.
Most effective is the tactic, long-favored in western Europe, of inciting Antifa mobs to do the work of repression indirectly. Police need merely to look the other way. The state or university then has its own Red Guard, with plausible...Read More HERE