Skip to comments.Justin Raimondo -- Enemy Agent?
Posted on 02/08/2003 8:19:06 AM PST by Richard Poe
Last Monday, Antiwar.com editor Justin Raimondo listed me in a rogue's gallery of people he considered to be "kooks," "warmongers" and "nutballs." According to Raimondo, my kookery is confirmed by two facts:
1. I have chided Raimondo for attempting to incite mutiny in the United States armed forces -- a charge which provoked a heated debate on FreeRepublic.com.
2. I have suggested that investigators Laurie Mylroie and Jayna Davis may be correct in their respective claims that Iraqi intelligence played a direct role in the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
On FreeRepublic.com, Raimondo admitted to me that he had never taken the trouble to thoroughly familiarize himself with the evidence presented by Mylroie and Davis, but nevertheless felt confident in judging their theories to be "tinfoil hat material" -- FreeRepublic jargon for a conspiracy theory so bizarre and implausible that only a nut would believe it.
As regular readers of Antiwar.com know, Raimondo is trying very hard to discourage Americans from attacking Iraq. To this end he relentlessly repeats the mantra that Iraq has never attacked us -- while dismissing all evidence of such attacks as symptoms of mental illness and kookery.
We know what Raimondo is doing. The question is, why is he doing it?
Raimondo's foreign connections are worth noting. He writes for Pravda.ru -- a Web site loosely associated with the paper or tree-zine version of Pravda, owned by the Russian Communist Party.
In its mission statement, Pravda.ru distinguishes itself from its Communist sister publication in these words:
In spite of the fact that the journalists of both versions keep in touch with each other, they have different conceptions regarding the coverage of the life of our country and abroad. As opposed to the newspaper Pravda, which analyses events from the point of view of the party's interests, PRAVDA On-line bases itself on a pro-Russian approach to forming the newspaper's policy.
What exactly does Pravda.ru mean by a "pro-Russian" approach?
One hint comes from Bill White -- a self-styled "anti-Semite" and disciple of the Italian fascist intellectual Baron Julius Evola. White was once employed by Pravda.ru as its U.S. correspondent.
Following his rancorous resignation from Pravda.ru in February 2002, White published an article on his Overthrow.com Web site, in which he described Pravda.ru as:
...an organization run by a National Bolshevik third-positionist tendency within the Russian Communist Party, who told me, on my retainer, that they were a "red-brown" "communist-fascist / communist-nationalist" organization that wanted to promote anti-imperialism, libertarianism and Constitutionalism in the United States in order to weaken the US role as imperial superpower. Though I didn't agree with their personal politics, their program for America - limited government, an end to war, and the restoration of civil rights and the Constitution, sounded fine to me - and I agreed to write for them...
For those unfamiliar with Russian politics, historian Ronald Radosh defines a "Red-Brown Alliance" as "the coming together in post Soviet Russia of right-wing nationalists and unreconstructed Communists."
So, according to Mr. White, he agreed to write for Pravda.ru, with the full knowledge that he was assisting foreigners in an organized effort to undermine the United States as a global power.
Did Justin Raimondo receive a similarly-worded "retainer" from Pravda.ru? Is Raimondo also aware that his Russian editors are attempting to build a "Red-Brown" alliance? Does Raimondo know that his editors view him as a Quisling, an agent of influence, a pawn in their propaganda war against the United States?
To get a taste of the sort of stuff Raimondo writes for his Russian audience, read his article "Terror at Home -- The Price of Hegemony," posted on Pravda.ru the day after the 9-11 attack. Raimondo writes:
The World Trade Center... is but a pile of smoldering rubble. Crashing down along with this symbol of capitalism, modernity, and civilization is the overweening hubris of a government and a people who thought themselves immune.... exempt not only from the rules that govern and limit the powers of other nations, but also from history itself. For history... tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. No one is immune, and this is the meaning of the horrific events unfolding before our eyes.
According to Raimondo, 9-11 was karmic payback for our sins. But to what sins does he refer? He appears to mean the imposition of U.S. "hegemony" over the rest of the world -- what the editors of Pravda.ru might call America's "role as imperial superpower."
Raimondo concludes his article thus:
A common word we hear in foreign policy circles is "hegemonism." We stand at the apex of power, and the French have even invented a special term for the hubristic heights of the American Imperium: they call us the hyperpower. It was coined to describe a power outside human history, outside the ordinary rules and conditions attached to human existence, a power without parallel or precedent. We were all about actions, and not about consequences: unlike the empires of the past, America was thought to be exempt from any possible reaction to its imperial edicts. Now we know it isn't true: too bad we had to learn the hard way.
Our crime, according to Raimondo, is that we became too mighty, attaining "power without parallel or precedent." The slaughter of 9-11, in Raimondo's view, was a fitting punishment for that sin.
How does one repent of the sin of being too powerful? I suppose the only real repentence would be to become less powerful.
It does appear that Raimondo's writings dovetail nicely with the political goals of his Russian editors -- that is, to "weaken the US role as imperial superpower" in the words of Raimondo's former colleague Bill White.
In the intelligence world, an agent of influence is defined as, "An asset... who is assigned the job of influencing policy, rather than collecting intelligence." Opinion leaders of all sorts can function as agents of influence, from government officials to journalists.
Journalists are particularly effective in shaping public opinion. As agents of influence or "propaganda assets," they can be used to disseminate false, misleading or defeatist ideas to confound, bewilder and discourage their countrymen.
Whether or not Raimondo is paid by Pravda.ru for his work, and whether or not he considers himself fully sympathetic with its geopolitical goals, I think it would be hard to argue that Raimondo is not functioning as an agent of influence for a potentially hostile foreign power -- or at least for a foreign political network.
I am not suggesting that Pravda.ru controls Raimondo, any more than it controlled Bill White. I do suggest, however, that the ease and comfort with which Raimondo reconciles himself to serving an overtly anti-American foreign propaganda mill raises troubling questions about his patriotism.
Richard Poe is a New York Times bestselling author and cyberjournalist. His latest book The New Underground: How Conservatives Conquered the Internet is scheduled for April 2003 release. Poe's previous book is The Seven Myths of Gun Control.
Looks to me he's just a putz with a web site...
No, that would be Senator Chuck Schumer.
Well, in fairness to Raimondo... aren't we all just putzes with a Web site, when you get right down to it?
I've crossed swords with him before. Justine's hatred of the British and Britain knows no bounds.
Well it wasn't obviously by the quality of the words selected, nor by the thought contained therein (should there be any).
Some are more putz than others.
However ironic, Justin never met a Billy Mckinney "It's the joos" style conspiracy he didn't like, eh Justin?
At least you're honest in being up front that this criticism is ad hominem.
Speak for yourself, I'm a siteless putz.
It's at times like these that I tend to believe the wrong side won the war in the Pacific. Just think: if we all woke up one day living in some alternate history, as in Phillip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, our cultural malaise would disappear overnight. Instead of listening to the latest loutish lyrics of Eminem, American teenagers would be contemplating the subtle beauty of the Japanese tea ceremony.These are the thoughts of a crackpot.
You're wasting your time.
And 'plowed' by the 'sword'...
Whoah...let me guess...was it the part about cutting ?
It all goes back to that little nick, eh ?
My theory is that for folks who have a clear and expressed anti-Israel agenda, any act, even if it benefits America, that is perceived to also benefit Israel, is disturbing to them. After all, Saddam pays blood money to the families of homicide bombers, so it can't be bad for Israel, for Saddam to go. And what's good for Israel, is bad for anti-semites. ;)
But when all is said and done, as James Taranto of Opinion Journal stated, antiwar.com is crackpot site.
I don't think Raimondo will respond to this thread. He's very busy writing a book on the UNTOLD BLOCKBUSTER story of the new millenium, the Israeli art student "spying" story. ;)
The difference between Justine Raimondo and George McGovern is simply age and the fact that McGovern was inclined to marry and father children. Their respective service to the soviets and former soviets is rather congruent. Look what Justine did for Pat Buchanan. Imagine what he could do to America if anyone were foolish enough to nsuccumb to the siren song of his hybrid of warmed-over McGovernism and Neville Chamberlainism posing fraudulently as either "Paleo-conservatism" (which means not at all conservative) or as libertarianism (as though actual libertarianism were a support system for dictators).
If "mondo" means "world" then "rai" must mean "tinfoil in a curious blend of lavender and pink". Justine, baby, show me your friends and I'll tell you what you are.
Islamonazis have always attacked the west--before there was an Israel or a US. The problem is with THEM and not us. Ef you and all the rest of you commie b*stards Raimundo. The US of A will prevail; we may occasionally get a bloody nose but we will do what we must no matter what the leftist scum bleats.
It's good to see you on FreeRepublic!
To answer your question, Raimondo's antiwar stance -- like most antiwar stances -- appears to be fundamentally dishonest.
With the exception of Quakers, Amishmen and other religiously-motivated pacifists, most people who claim to be "antiwar" are simply using opposition to "war" as a mask for some other agenda.
This is certainly true of Raimondo, who does not even claim to oppose war in principle. Raimondo poses as a supporter of the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers -- a position which is incompatible with a pacifist philosophy.
The purpose of my recent blog entry is to raise the question of Raimondo's true motives and agenda, which I would contend are not at all clearly or honestly "advertised" on his Web site.
Richard Poe -- Joe McCarthy clone?
I don't think so, amigo.
I reckon this naming of collective opponents as 'gays' or 'commie spies' just shows the paucity of some Freepers' arguments. Since when does opposing the war make you a traitor? There are many related issues conservatives should be concerned about: the cost, the censorship, the abuse of the Constitution by the security services, for instance. And Raimondo's brilliant: he's definitely one we want inside the Tent. I'll see if I can rustle up something received in an Aussie e-newsletter this week, to demonstrate. Cheers, B.
Here's that disgraceful column:
Dear Byron the Aussie:
I agree with your assessment of Raimondo's talents. But I would suggest that his gifts are being put to ill use.
Just what "Tent" are you referring to, anyway?
Another question: What underlying principle shapes your notion of acceptable discourse? Certainly not ordinary standards of fair play. Rather, your moral outrage seems to be driven by some sort of elusive double standard.
You consider it permissible to call me a "Joe McCarthy clone," yet you cry foul when others call Raimondo names. Are you a leftist, by any chance?
President Reagan's 'tent', Richard. And the analogy's never been more relevant. I mean, what is this deathwish amongst us, that we must always turn upon our own? The Gipper was especially aware of (and guarded against) it. I can look at Raimondo's writings and know (after grinding my teeth at some of the unnecessary hyperbole and theatricality) that he's one of us, for want of a better word. There has been way too much of this statist RINO groupthink in both the US and on FR, lately. If some holds a different view on one or two of innumerable issues, then why focus on it, endlessly? Why drive them out, when they have so much energy and insight to offer? We have seen it too much around here and the turnover's got too high to ignore. In the case of Raimondo, I would say to you and his other detractors, address the issues. Someone of your calibre and intellect should be doing that. Can the crap about 'Red agents', 'Justine', etc, that just demeans whoever writes it. Regards, By.
Address the issues, you say?
Under the circumstances, I cannot imagine any issue more pressing than whether or not Iraq had a hand in the 1995 Oklahoma bombing and the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. When I raised these issues with Raimondo, he dismissed me as a "kook."
Raimondo's utter lack of curiosity on these vital questions leaves me with no choice but to wonder whose side he is really on.
How about you? Do you care who masterminded the last ten years of terror attacks against our country? Or do you find that an irrelevant detail, compared with the overriding goal of keeping Raimondo in the... er, what did you call it? The Tent?
Pravda, Shmavda -- if this is the kind of "logic" involved in Richard Poe's contention that Iraq really bombed the World Trade Center (and, I guess, the Oklahoma City federal building), then I don't think "tinfoil hat" quite covers it: Poe's wacky screed is a Reynolds Wrap Special, for sure.
As for being a "traitor," and "enemy agent," or whatever, for questioning whether the invasion and indefinite occupation of Iraq is in America's national interest -- I guess we'll have to also target Brent Scowcroft, General Anthony Zinni, Norman Scharzkopf, the former commander of the Marines, and Senator John Hagel as my fellow conspirators. Good luck with that one....
Ad hominem attacks are always an indication that the writer has run out of valid arguments, and that is certainly the case with the War Party. They know perfectly well that attacking Iraq makes no sense -- none at all -- in the midst of a war against Al Qaeda, and benefits one and only one country, and that is Israel. So they try to distract us away from the real issue, in the hope that no one will notice the paucity of their own arguments.
I find it fascinating that people on this thread are saying how right I was when it came to opposing the Kosovo war -- but my reasons for opposing that war, and this one, are identical. The Kosovo war was fought for the benefit, not of the U.S., but of the Turks, and the Albanian Kosovars (really, the same entity): this current war is being fought for Turkey's main ally in the Middle East, which is Israel. I am being entirely consistent: I support wars of self-defense, not wars of conquest against nations that have never attacked us (a describtion that fits both Serbia and Iraq).
Wars of conquest are un-American. That's why I oppose this war. And, don't forget: war is the health of the State. I see Drudge is running a huge headline about "Part II" of the "Patriot" Act: now we'll see a real-life demonstration of the principle that you can't have a global empire and a constitutional republic at the same time. Hey, Iron Jack, long time, no see.
Oh, and "Hi, Veronica!" Sold any artwork lately?
And if you really, really want to push him over the edge, call him Justine Gaymundo.
"...since my stuff has been reprinted in Israel... Macedonia..."
No sense? For twelve long years Iraq violates its agreement to disarm and you think we should give them more time? How much time, Justin? A year? Five years? Fifty years? I know you're not so naive as to think Saddam will ever stop producing and using WPMs, so just why would you want to give him all eternity to do what we all know he will not do? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that a confirmed pacifist like you would wink at this sort of arms build-up in such an explosive region. What, are you pro-proliferation now, Justin?
Benefits only Israel? Seems to me that it benefits quite a few others, starting with the Iraqi people themselves. But then you already know that Saddam has used chemical warfare against the inhabitants of his own country, don't you? And you're also well aware of what Saddam has deployed against the Iranians -- just as you're well acquainted with Saddam's penchant for invading our allies' countries (think: Kuwait). So why pretend otherwise?
While we're at it, perhaps you can tell me why Saddam, who has "nothing" to do with Al Qaeda, has been hosting known Al Qaeda and providing them with facilities in Northeast Iraq.