Pete Shmigel, Australian author, social and political activis
In what is the worst April Fool’s jokes of all time, the Russian Federation will take over the chair of the United Nations Security Council on April 1st.
Pete Shmigel, Australian author, social and political activist, on his blog on Medium
I am not an analyst or a subject matter expert or a practitioner of international law or relations. I am primarily a writer. Therefore, my mandate is to look at public issues from a writer’s perspective. From the perspective of story-telling and stories.
When we look at ruZZia’s ascendancy at the Security Council, we should therefore realise this. That ruZZia — whether we like it or not — has successfully told a story that bought it the credibility to take the Security Council position. That in turn reflects Western failure to recognise and regulate the risk that is ruZZia.
Because of this ‘curated credibility’ in the international community, there is at this time virtually no:
· questioning or challenging of ruZZia’s ascendancy;
· discussion of the absolute gap between the UN’s stated goals and ruZZia’s actions over the last 12 months and longer in Ukraine, or;
· suggestion that, if such a disgrace is possible, should the UN even continue to exist.
Effectively, the ruZZian ascendancy represents the success of its long-term, strategic propaganda and its international programs of influence. The truth is that ruZZia has conned and gamed the world into de facto accepting its legitimacy — rather than recognising that it is a terrorist state that deserves to be completely ostracised from established global institutions, be it the UN, WHO or the International Olympic Committee.
The methods and narratives that ruZZia has relied on for legitimacy at the UN and elsewhere have even withstood the objective evidence in Ukraine of an illegal invasion, countless war crimes and ethnocidal activity. This is because ruZZia has played this game for some 70 years — where by contrast Ukraine has told its international story for arguably one year — and built up equity with key players that even atrocities withstand.
Largely based on the practices of Goebbels and Nazi Germany, ruZZia’s game has featured:
· The inclusion of ‘maskyrovka’ (deception) in ruZZian military doctrine since World War 1;
· The official use of propaganda as a weapon of war and its inclusion in ruZZia’s military structures since the 1930s;
· Consistent (and obviously manufactured and fraudulent) themes and narratives including about cultural contributions, anti-colonialism, victory over fascism, equity for minorities and women, and global peace;
· The disciplined use of repetitive, emotion-based messages;
· The expenditure of billions of dollars — not only on means of communications (be it troll factories or RT) but to buy influence where necessary.
ruZZia has also well understood how to target specific audiences, including at the continental level (such as in Africa), how to leverage broader trends in society, and how to exploit the strengths and weaknesses of democratic institutions.
In Australia, we have seen ruZZia pay for:
· editorial inserts — and who knows what influence — in major newspapers;
· RT to be broadcast on cable TV;
· useful idiots such Simeon Boykov, a far-right organiser now seeking asylum in the Russian Federation’s Sydney consulate after being charged by police, and;
· the provision of ‘exclusive’ content to mainstream commentators.
This has recently come to a further point of sophistication (read bastardry). ruZZia is actively recognising and exploiting — if not creating — trends around ‘post-truth’ and alternative reality. Here, it has ‘upped the ante’ and now uses an array of messages and a plethora of communications channels that are seeming incongruent and illogical. ruZZia knows that chaos, misunderstanding, and subjectivity are its allies.
As renown British analyst Peter Pomarantzev has noted:
ʼ‘The last things desired by those who purvey phantom, fabricated pasts are facts… Conspiracy is a way to maintain control. Everyone’s motives are questioned, no one can be trusted. Newspapers, politicians, judges, experts: all have agendas, all are biased. What, then, is the inevitable solution? In this murk, it becomes best to rely on a strong hand to guide you.”
About Putin’s ruZZia, Pomerantzev continues:
‘It is so important for Moscow to do away with truth. If nothing is true, then anything is possible. We are left with the sense that we don’t know what Putin will do next — that he’s unpredictable and thus dangerous. We’re rendered stunned, spun, and flummoxed by the Kremlin’s weaponization of absurdity and unreality.’
We see this in action right now in the US. Knowing that positions on Ukraine are now seen through either a red lens or a blue lens, and that bi-partisan trust has completely broken down, the Kremlin stirs up the MAGA Republicans to oppose aid for Ukraine.
So, as April 1st approaches and the disgusting prospect of having a murderous regime titularly in charge of the global peace-making organisation, we need to ask ourselves: are we allow this to happen? Are we willing to see ruZZia’s ‘story’ remain unchecked? Are we willing to accept the denigration of our democratic institutions?
One hopes not. It’s time for a different story based on truth.