Are you scared of Russia again yet?

Apparently the Russian FSB (ex-KGB) are running riot, if the Western media is to be trusted, which is debatable at the best of times let alone in these cases where there may be seen to be a clear political agenda at work, what we are expected to believe is that an organisation that ran for decades one of the most effective covert espionage operations across the world has suddenly decided that such secrecy is not in its best interests, or simply not necessary, when it comes to things like high profile target elimination.

It is true that the KGB and many of its operatives do not function quite in the same actively-sponsored way that it may have enjoyed in Soviet times and therefore many former employees may now be essentially little more than ‘guns for hire’. However to me at least it seems a little implausible that they have forgotten their training overnight in order to pursue a more public campaign to advertise their work.
First there was the ‘Orange Revolution’ in the Ukraine.  There was always something I never felt was quite right. There seemed to me, from the raw facts alone, to be a great deal of ambiguity which was not being reflected by an electrically-charged media who looked all intent on being a lynch mob for the “wronged” candidate, Viktor Yuschenko the one who happened, quite coincidentally, to be the pro-Western, that is to say pro-Western industry and foreign investment, candidate. We were given a black and white version of events, one which stated that the pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych had rigged the election in favour of his faction over Yuschenko’s.  A little digging appeared to suggest that there were many irregularities on both sides.
The initial first round election results had both candidates receiving a shade over 39% with Yanukovyych faring well in his Russian-bordering Eastern Ukraine whilst Yuschenko had likewise received most of his support from the EU-bordering Western Ukraine. The river Dnipro being the rough dividing line between the two areas. The turnout was cited as proof of Yanukovych’s gerrymandering since it stood at around 96% which was enough to make anyone suspicious. It was not however cited in context with the turnout figures of Yuschenko’s areas where the turnout was only marginally less at 94%. Presumably this extra 2% makes all the difference in the identification of foul play over a well-run honest campaign.
To make matters worse Yuschenko had been “poisoned” by means of dioxins which left pock-marking all over his face and didn’t kill him.  Correct me if I’m wrong but if you are trying to kill someone high profile would it not be a somewhat stupid idea to use something that even if it achieved the desired result would take not only a long time but in addition make it very publicly obvious what was going on.   I did hear an interview with a former KGB colonel who stated that he had never known the KGB to have used dioxins for poisoning.
Ironically in the West after a matter of months criticsims were already being made of the Orange government’s economic reforms, calling them too socialist and populist.  Yuschenko tried sacking most of the government but that doesn’t appear to have worked so one can only expect the US to come to his aid at some point and build a large airbase at Lviv.
Then there was the murder of defector Oleg Litvinenko. The use of polonium in the poisoning has been seen as proof of involvement of a state actor, as more than microscopic amounts of polonium can only be produced in nuclear reactors. Most polonium produced in Russia, however, is distributed by western commercial distributors. This is not to assert specifically that there is an evil shadowy Western presence at work herein, no how could such a thing be necessary, the US government can freeboot around and pretty much do openly what it desires. What it illustrates is depending on the nature of your spin the information that is omitted is often as important as the information that is given. Again I find it strange that an organisation such as the FSB would have chosen something so public and so high profile as a method. That is not to say that it could not have been them merely that one has to question a little further in order to determine whether or not it might have been rather than accepting it as red (forgive the pun!).  Unless of course the new FSB have decided in the case of the poisoning of Victor Yuschenko and Oleg Litvinenko to be altogether more unashamed and blatant in their approach.
Finally (for now) we also have the “irregularities” of the recent Russian election that has returned Vladimir Putin’s party to power with a large majority. However in much media coverage of interviews in Russia Putin in particular appears to have fairly widespread support particularly in voter rich areas such as Moscow. We are told about a “creeping Putsch” and referred to the election of Vladimir Putin to follow Boris Yeltsin in a ‘by any means necessary approach.’ Then our attention is further drawn to the establishment of a spurious war on a separatist group, the Chechens, responsible allegedly for terrorist attrocities in order to enact large scale internal humanitarian repression and violation of human rights and legislative curbs on civil liberties…
I’m sensing you’re way ahead of me here…!
Do not get me wrong, I am not suggesting for a moment that Russia is a beacon of hope for those in the country nor of us on the Left any more than it ever really used to be in the Soviet days. I just find the propaganda war interesting nowadays, in the Cold War era there did at least seem to be some difference in the two ideologies even if neither were especially population-friendly. Now it appears there is a neo-capitalist/state capitalist hegemony that simply differs in the specific language it uses in order to appeal to the voting majority to retain its hold on power. Dissent seems now to have been marginalised to the point of near-extinction so ingrained is the propaganda of no alternative. To account for any gradual shift or the ‘muttering masses’ some new threat comes to light in order that people feel scared and cower in their own homes.
The media world has so many enemies for us to hate now it is a wonder we come out of our homes at all but Osama Bed Linen, Slobbo Milosevic, the Taliban and even Saddam Hussain, all of whom have been likened to Hitler and Stalin at one time or another, couldn’t cut the same sort of pathological fear as the old foe themselves.  The Reds are coming back
If you want a coping strategy my advice is to find a combination of what my Da told me to do with monsters in a nightmare which was to imagine them on the khazee and to do what a journalist for The Observer did in Libya when confronted with Col. Gaddafi’s cult of personality which was to call him Keith and refer to him thus throughout the rest of the travelogue.   You can choose to be afraid and allow your human rights to be ceded away to nothing in anti-terrorist laws which smack of emergency powers of the 1930s, or you can choose not to buy into the hegemony and cast your net wider and ask yourself why you are being told certain things and by whom.
It’s up to you. 
Song Of The Day ~ Radiohead – Black Star