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World View: Reader Comments and Questions on Syria, Russia, and Russian Trolls

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Russian Trolls
  • Popularity of Bashar al-Assad
  • Russian shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17
  • The future of the Mideast

Russian Trolls

Russian trolls - Bruce Plante (Tulsa World, 11-Jun-2015)
Russian trolls – Bruce Plante (Tulsa World, 11-Jun-2015)

There have been a number of questions and comments about my recent articles on Russia’s involvement in Syria.

TheLastPlainsman: “It appears, Mr. Xenakis, that you are still the target of Soviet, err, I mean, Russian, trolls. At least there aren’t any China ones. Today, anyway.”

Yes, Russia has hired hundreds of trolls to harass people like me. At one point last year, I was being attacked and harassed by three Russian trolls at the same time.

In a sense, the whole policy has backfired. Every journalist by now has become aware that they’ll be attacked by Russian trolls if they write anything critical of Russia. So the result is that any person who actually believes what he’s saying in defense of Bashar al-Assad or Vladimir Putin is automatically assumed to be a paid Russian troll. The Russians brought this on themselves.

Mickey Wasp: “It is clear from this completely fraudulent article he has penned that Mr. X is not above composing lies in order to further the nefarious agenda of the Zionist criminal enterprise known as Israel and Warmongers of Congress and the CIA.

Anyone who can write a line such as “After years promising to help end the violence in Syria, Russian and Syrian warplanes have been indiscriminately attacking civilian neighborhoods and hospitals with barrel bombs, chemical weapons (chlorine gas), phosphorous bombs, cluster bombs and bunker bombs. It does not take rocket science to see that Russia and Syria have no intention of ending the violence.” is not fit to call themselves a journalist or researcher or columnist, instead they should be labelled as a disgusting black propagandist and seen as working for those who created the conflict in Syria.”

All of these things that I listed — attacking civilian neighborhoods and hospitals with barrel bombs, chemical weapons (chlorine gas), phosphorous bombs, cluster bombs and bunker bombs — have been widely reported in mainstream media and by government organizations in America, Europe, the Mideast and the United Nations. The only people saying that it’s all made up are Russian and Syrian officials, as well as the army of paid Russian trolls.

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Popularity of Bashar al-Assad

Scotster brightmoth: “Amid the demonization of the Syrian government and leadership and the skillful use of social media by anti-government activists. Influenced by both mainstream and this alternative media, most people in the West do not know that Bashar al-Assad remains popular with many Syrians. Nor do they realize that Assad won an election two years ago.”

What the heck does that have to do with anything? Bashar al-Assad is being charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. What does it matter whether he won an election? Adolf Hitler won elections. Mao Zedong, Pol Pot and Josef Stalin were all very popular.

There’s a very important point here. It’s the popularity of genocidal leaders that makes the genocidal acts possible. An unpopular leader could never get away with trying to exterminate an entire religious or ethnic group, as Bashar al-Assad is trying to exterminate the Sunni Muslims. A genocidal leader has to be popular to get away with his depraved acts. So when you talk about al-Assad’s popularity, my response is that of course he’s popular, and has to be to get away with committing genocide.

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Russian shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

Mickey Wasp: “We are experiencing the same demonization of Syria’s al-Assad and Russia’s Putin that we witnessed before those other two wars on Saddam and Gaddafi. Every possible allegation is made against them, often based on dubious and deceitful “evidence,” but it goes unchallenged because to question the propaganda opens a person to charges of being an “apologist” or “stooge” or if they post on Xenakis articles, a Russia troll.”

If it quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck. You claim that you’re a Texas redneck, but you quack like a Russian troll.

There was a good example this last week of how Russian trolls work. A Dutch-led team announced the findings of a major investigation proving that Russians in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 passenger plane with a Russian Buk 9M38 missile that was transported by a Volvo truck from Russia, and then transported back to Russia after it had been used to shoot down the plane.

There are literally thousands of pieces of evidence, including intercepted phone calls, photos, analyzed and authenticated, videos, forensic examinations, witness statements, satellite images, and radar data. The amount of evidence is overwhelming.

But the Russian trolls have been out in force saying that all the photos are photoshopped, and all the evidence was faked. And The Washington Post reports that numerous reporters have been targeted by Russian government hackers. I’ve been targeted many times by both Russian and Chinese hackers. That’s the game these Russian trolls play.

So when this Russian troll says that “every possible allegation is made against [al-Assad and Putin], often based on dubious and deceitful ‘evidence,'” he’s just being a good troll and saying the same things over and over despite overwhelming evidence. He should get an extra pay bonus from his trollmaster for being such a good troll.

Here is another point worth making. I believe the truth of everything that I write. I have written about 4,000 articles on my web site since 2003, and every word is based on extensive research and reporting. I have an archive of some 85,000 articles that I have copied and pasted, and I add a dozen or so articles to the archive every day. I have to be sure of every fact, because if I make a mistake, then I know that people will pound on me for it.

But that is not true of the Russian trolls. They know very well that Russians shot down the MH17 plane. They know very well that Bashar al-Assad is committing genocide. They know very well that Vladimir Putin is guilty of war crimes. But they’re paid to lie, and they sell their souls every day to defend the greatest genocidal monsters of the 21st century so far.

Guardian (London) and Washington Post

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The future of the Mideast

Jasmine16: “President Assad wants to kill all Sunni Muslims? Come on. His wife is a Sunni. Many of his ministers and military officers are Sunnis. Many of his armed force officers are Sunnis. The majority of Syrian population prefer to live in government controlled areas. Even CIA and Qatar study reveal that 70% of Syrians-most of whom are (moderate) Sunnis, support him, while 20% are neutral, and only 10 % are against him. How on earth could the writer claims that the president wants ” … to massacre … all Sunni Muslim civilians ….”?”

There is an extremely bloody historic fault line between Shia/Alawites (like Bashar al-Assad) and Sunnis. It is pretty clear that al-Assad wants to kill a large segment of Syria’s civilian population, possibly millions of people, on the other side of that historic fault line, but there’s a problem of how to characterize those people — what name should we give that group? Al-Assad just calls them all “terrorists,” but obviously children in a school or women and children in a marketplace slaughtered by an al-Assad airstrike are not “terrorists” in any meaningful sense. So in view of the historic hatred between Alawites and Sunnis, I use the characterization “Sunni Muslims” as the most convenient way to describe the portion of the population that al-Assad wants to exterminate. It’s possible that there’s some kind of ethnic descriptor that could be used to make the characterization more precise, but I’m not aware of one.

TheLastConservative: “‘In other words, it’s just more bizarre garbage coming out of the mouths of Russian officials.’ Which is a lot like #*&$ coming out of the State Department isn’t it? There are no good guys in this situation. We are obviously too incompetent and should get out of it. We’ve messed up enough as it is.”

A lot of people feel that way. But a lot more people feel that America has a moral obligation to be policeman of the world, so it’s unlikely that we’ll get out of the situation.

TheLastPlainsman: “So now that confuses me- what is your prediction then with a US/Russia conflict but then us still being allied in the next world war? Is there any kind of timeline to consider?”

Russia’s historic enemies are the Turks, the Mongols, and particularly the Crimean Tatars. Russia has absolutely no reason to start a war with the West, as many people fear.

As I’ve been writing for many years, from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Russia will be our ally in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war. Those who think that this is impossible should recall that the Soviet Union was our bitter enemy before and after World War II, but was our ally during World War II. Something like that will happen again. This prediction should make the Russian trolls very happy.

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, trolls, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin
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