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The US doesn't do foreign policy - the US does domestic policy in foreigns way.

The primary aim of US domestic policy is Wall St profit.

If that means starting a war of fifteen or subverting popular democracies around the world, that's considered business as normal.

This makes the US seem more like a military failure than it actually is. The US does not use military force to maintain its empire. It uses military force as an excuse for domestic military profit, and as a misdirection from less overt forms of political manipulation.

The primary difference between the US and the Soviet Union is that the US mastered two very important arts - overt international lifestyle propaganda, used to define imperial values as self-determining high-status markers, and covert indirect repression.

The USSR never understood the value of either. Putin doesn't seem to have learned that lesson. He's still doing the 'You know we have nukes and soliders, so you'd better take us seriously' thing in the Ukraine.

It may work there, for a while, but - unless those nukes are used - it may dent US hegemony, but it won't destroy it.

China is the only country which has more military leverage and longer experience of building empire through careful status management and media control. Post-communist China isn't there yet, but it has certainly has the potential to win a narrative war against the US.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 08:19:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess Putin is aware of the power of the Western propaganda, that being the reason he does not even try to compete there. He does not particularly resist the painted image of himself, and relies on "reality based" measures to hold onto what he can. And surely, Putin is opportunistic with the freedom from appearances.

The US-led indirect repression has increased risks with worse global economy and energy resource limits in sight (as Greece exemplifies). Russia and China might just reasonably expect to wait for the "reality" to hit harder.

by das monde on Sun Feb 15th, 2015 at 10:07:30 PM EST
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Eh. Do you remember RT exists? I'd rather say this is one of the cases where he doesn't particularly object to the picture painted.

Similar to ISIS in some  ways. They're propaganda strategy is to show everyone what badass motherfuckers they are and how the West is shitting its collective pants. The NATO strategy is to show what terrible murderers they are and building up hysteria to get more funding and make those surveillance, torture and bombed wedding scandals go away. Which is the same strategy minus the coarse language.

by generic on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:24:52 AM EST
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I don't come across RT that often. Is it really addressed in any measure towards a dialogue recognizable to "convertible" Westerners?

All this ISIS, Putin, Hebdo, North Korea circus is to make otherwise smart people keep  wondering what is happening.

by das monde on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:38:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
Is it really addressed in any measure towards a dialogue recognizable to "convertible" Westerners?

Yes, precisely. In English, German, and French.

Putin personally supervised a shake-up of Russian communications with the rest of the world. RIA Novosti in English (rather a good news agency) was merged with Voice of Russia to make the surprising Sputnik News. Russia Today in English was boosted with more means, now more languages.

das monde:

the power of the Western propaganda, that being the reason he does not even try to compete there.

He is most definitely trying to compete, and with some success.

das monde:

Putin is opportunistic with the freedom from appearances.

Really?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:17:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the international stage, I expected some participation in the Western media, adressing damning implications, a more complete narrative. But apparently I am clueless about what appeals to fellow (?!) human brains, or how to do mass propaganda.
by das monde on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:08:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, one way to appeal to human brains is to plant stories which are picked up by other media and enthusiastic conspiracy theorists and thus get read by people critical of their governments but uncritical of their alternative news sources, to which you gave us an involuntary demonstration.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:47:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that is so massively significant... The advantage for Russia is that it does not need much deliberte effort to appeal to quite a few kinds of analytical, unorthodox, certain justice or truth seeking brains - if only because the West is consistently leaving vast vacuum here and there. In that particular case of "involuntary demonstration", you don't need TASS or BBC to have a heretic question about the ATC records - still undisclosed (apart from a few bits) and not under discussion.
by das monde on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:52:45 PM EST
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Yes, yes, we know your conspiracy theories don't require evidence, or even plausible stories from creditable third parties.

Troll-rated for promulgation of MH 17 troof.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 12:59:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All I am telling for that tangent (brought up by DoDo) is that the offical troof theory does require that existing (and often decisive) evidence to be brought up to the public. That is an interesting fact... But let me just get away from this - troll rate what you want with your undisputable authority.
by das monde on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 02:26:45 AM EST
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What I highlighted is your selective propaganda blindness, which is quite on-topic regarding your claim that Russia supposedly doesn't do effective propaganda. The subject of the linked example is immaterial, your treatment of information is. Someone who can't be bothered to distinguish who in a story is a "single anonymous source", "Interfax", and "BBC", and can't distinguish between a fact-checked article and live-blogging, shouldn't kid himself about having an analytical mind. The right word is "paranoid".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 01:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you are telling, the Kremlin issued that isolated "propaganda" bit of TASS info, and then never tried anything better? That absent propaganda from Russia is what I am talking about in this thread.

Leonard Cohen sings:
   There is a crack in everything
   That's how the light gets in.

I had some education in crack sensing in the last Soviet years. That TASS/BBC blip -- a deviation from the eventual presented makeup - is what I recognize as a crack. That's all.

by das monde on Thu Feb 19th, 2015 at 03:09:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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