Vladimir Putin most certainly is a man of many talants. Why, now it's claimed that he's involved in the Texas Independence movement. Incredible...
Since the leftist media has adopted a neoconservative/ liberal interventionist line toward Russia and Putin, it came as no surprise to me when the left-wing Politico published an article accusing the Russian government of involvement in the Texas independence movement. Said article came across the Russia Insider desk last week and the only thing positive that I can say about its contents is that shortly after its publication, somewhere a bell rang and a neo-con got his wings.
“Putin's Plot to Get Texas to Secede” by earnest Columbia grad Casey Michel, draws a specious link between the Texas Nationalist Movement, right-wing Russians, and Vladimir Putin.
The springboard for the piece is Texan Nathan Smith, the chief-of-staff for the Texas Nationalist Movement and his March 2015 appearance in St. Petersburg, which coincided with the International Russian Conservative Forum. I won't fault Michel for being against Team Russia Nazis. America supports Team Ukraine Nazis and we have to be consistent.
Michel portrays Smith as a marginal redneck with delusions of grandeur –- falsely claiming Smith is the “self-styled foreign minister” of TNM when he is not. Having established that his article inhabits a fiction bubble, Michel continues to say that “Despite roaming around in his cowboy hat” (!), Smith kept a low profile at the St. Petersburg right-wing forum.
So low key, in fact, Smith wasn't even there. Neither were top officials from the Russian government. Hyped by the Western media, the event did not attract serious right-wing parties in Europe, nor leaders from the DPR and LPR.
Undeterred by inconvenient truths, Michel constructs a crazy hypothesis that Putin is supporting Texas secession and is actively trying to break up the United States in revenge for the ruble's plummet. Michel writes that after Smith gave an interview to the Russian взгляд, the Kremlin Gremlins who inhabit Putin's evil lair took to Twitter to proclaim their support for Texas independence. Social media proof! What more do you need?
Michel's right; these accounts are fake. Their handles sound like porn names and their posts are nearly identical. Wait –- you mean some of the accounts on Twitter aren't real people! Spoiler alert: Ten bogus Twitter accounts do not represent a cross-section of the Russian Twitterverse. Maybe we should be concerned that Scotland independence backers voiced their support for Texas independence. They must want to dismantle America and use it for strategic sheep purposes! Run, run -- run for your lives!
Do we have evidence of Putin's evil plan? Oh, we don't? Do we have a random quote of his that mentions Texas and Mexico? We do? Sweet!
It’s unclear just how high up these propaganda efforts go in the Kremlin. But it can hardly be an accident that last December, in the midst of the ruble’s parlous plummet, Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at putative Western hypocrisy. “We have heard many times from officials that it’s unfair that Siberia, with its immeasurable wealth, belongs entirely to Russia. Unfair, how do you like that? And grabbing Texas from Mexico was fair!”
I don't want to suggest that Michel didn't do so hot on the SAT reading comp, but his Putin quote actually says nothing about Texan independence. Part of the geographical area known as Texas today was a sovereign nation, becoming independent from Mexico in 1836. The U.S. annexed the independent Texan state (at the request of Texan settlers) over the objections of Mexico. Then the U.S. went to war with Mexico over the disputed border territory. Fun times. Of course all of this belongs to the age of empires, and Putin is behaving in a 19th century manner, etc., because we all know it's Russia with military bases all over the planet. Also, PS, The ruble has stabilized.
Then Michel makes an admirable effort to appear balanced: "Russian support for a disintegrated North American continent remains far from official policy. 'It's just another mischief-making gambit,' NYU professor and noted Russian commentator Mark Galeotti told me." “Nothing seriously to be worried about.'” And by “nothing to be seriously worried about,” Politico means you should be terrified. Ever vigilant!
Also -- project much? It's a not so secret secret that Zbigniew Brzezinski holds sway with U.S. government officials. We all know he daydreams about butterflies and dismantling Russia. He wrote all about it. In a book. He also wrote a featured column for Politico so maybe Michel and he can have a one-on-one and congratulate themselves on their progressive agenda.
Since Putin isn't the one who put out a book envisioning the world as a grand chess board, isn't trying to control the weather, and isn't trying to eat Smurfs, what the goal of lambasting Texas independence? Crimea. Over the past year, there has been a sudden, bizarro uptick of American interest in Crimea. Crimea was reunited with Russia in 2014 and at this point, the U.S. objections to its current status are just beating a dead horse.
Taking a cue from Z-Biggy warmongering, Michel repeats the Dugin myth, notwithstanding that Dugin has been fired from Moscow State University. According to Dr. Gordon Hahn, Galeotti wrote that Putin assigned regional governors readings in “writings by three prominent 19th- and 20th-century intellectuals: Nikolai Berdyaev, Vladimir Solovyov, and Ivan Ilyin.” Putin stated in 2010 that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago was “essential” reading for Russian students. But I guess Dugin is easier to spell.
No serious person thinks Dugin holds any sway with Putin. What is Michel's problem with fringe ideologues? Western media routinely talks to Russians on the political periphery. Few sane Russians listen to the ramblings of the criminal Mikhail Khodorkovsky or the chess player- turned-public nag Garry Kasparov, yet the Western media grants them the credibility they lack at home.
By page two, Michel is completely out of Xanax. He digs up Preston Wigigton, a “righteous racist and staunch supporter of white nationalist movements, [who] has lived and cultivated extensive links in Moscow.” With whom has he forged these extensive links? Dugin! Michel doesn't bother to make any personal or professional links between Smith and Wigigton, except to say that they are both from Texas.
Not convinced that Texas is colluding with the Russkies? Watch the YouTube clips of Novorossiya fighter Russell Bonner Bentley, known by his call sign “Texas.” Writes Michel, “'Texas” shares a handful of confused factoids, mangling pronunciations and motivations alike.'” I am also not sure which “pronunciations” Michel found “mangled.” I understood Bentley perfectly in the English and Spanish interviews that Michel linked. It's nice that he focused on “confused factoids” and “pronunciation” when Bentley describes fighting against the U.S.-supported Right Sector and witnessing atrocities committed by the Ukraine junta, including the fatal injuries sustained by Inna Kukuruza in 2014.
Selective outrage, thy name is Politico.
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