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.
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