Russian neocolonialism, propaganda, Florida and the US

DOJ Indictments in Russian scheme to use US citizens (in Florida) as agents

I get that people will question my motivation for using a photo of two gentlemen at a Trump rally from 2016 to illustrate a piece about Russian imperialism/colonialism. It’s not the gentlemen, it’s the message. I’d go back to the debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama in 2012 where Mr. Romney said something to the effect that Russia was the USA’s greatest geopolitical foe on the horizon, President Obama was thinking in terms of conventional threats. I also didn’t really understand at the time, but Mr. Romney had a front row seat to the access Russia was being given by his party and their response. I’m not here to bash any right or left leaning parties or people. Russia has used the Achilles’ heel(S) of every one of the nations they consider their foe, it’s important to show the people who’ve been duped how they’ve been duped.

You may also ask what this has to do with Florida politics and/or history, from the Russian birth tourists renting condos from Trump, to broke Russian civil servants buying condos and yachts worth millions in Miami, as with everything corrupt there’s always a link in Florida. Russians have infiltrated political parties, religious organizations and possibly the most egregious, creating/infiltrating/funding African American “movements” like Uhuru and Black Hammer in St Petersburg. The FBI does have a checkered past on race relations, so the narrative is set up front, that the FBI is targeting the organizations because the organizations are supposed to support Black People. I don’t know if the respective leaders of the two groups were willing accomplices, or they just trusted the wrong people. I do know they’ve been arrested on serious charges as have the Russian agents who were allegedly funding and promoting them.

 I wrote about it before, but I’ll return to it today, in 2016 I was targeted on Twitter by who I thought was a Black woman, Crystal Johnson. Asking me if I wanted to start an organization helping mostly Black youth. Turns out Crystal was one of the IRA accounts shut down, I guess that’s my contribution to the Twitter Files. The rub was to create a positive feed about Black people, then other IRA trolls would argue competing points to create chaos, racial animosity.  I’ve learned a lot since 2016. I hoped everyone would have, but the propaganda is so loud even some of our military who’ve been charged with protecting the secrets of this country and our allies have been converted to the point that some of them have performed reckless acts to help Putin.

Because of my experience in 2016 I felt the need to write a piece on how Russian propaganda affects everyone, eventually. To do so I could go back in history and begin with how Tzar Nicholas II used his Okhrana on his own people, how the Bolsheviks used the Cheka to do the same. I suppose we could do a deep dive on how every iteration of the Russian secret police system was/is meant to keep the Russian populace in line to whichever party system is in place at the time. Remembering that one 11th grade world history teacher told us that Russian leadership (then the USSR) was determined by whomever had the most dirt on everyone else, he and his family had escaped that system and understood it better than most.  At times, the “dirt” is made up as was in the case of his father. We’ve heard many historical anecdotes, and personal accounts of people who made harrowing escapes from the former USSR because of “dirt.” Cubans should understand this as well, because Castro and his regime did the same to so many.

Today, we hear about trumped-up court cases, poisoning, and those ever-faulty Russian windows. It is quite one thing to rule your own people with propaganda and threats of physical harm, it’s quite another to interfere with the affairs of others. Before anyone gets off on a rabbit hole of how intel/counterintelligence of other nations do this too, we’re not talking about defensive countermeasures meant to protect a nation’s own citizenry or sovereignty. I am talking about propaganda for the sake of creating chaos, for the sake of destroying systems of government and democracy more broadly. After the fall of the Soviet Union, we in the broader “West” were lulled into a false sense of security. We were only concerned about the conventional threats that military weapons pose from Russia. We forgot or at least deprioritized intelligence threats which are more insidious, they work on the micro and macro levels. Destroying lives and communities, more broadly nations. For the examples of the micro levels see Uhuru and Black Hammer, macro levels see the Republican party platform which hasn’t changed since softening their stance on Russia in 2016.

The internet and social media didn’t create colonization or imperialism but helped create cyber-colonization, or cyber-imperialism. By targeting certain populations in order to suppress or increase voter turnout for a desired result in elections at every level. Russia is in effect hoping to make each country a satellite nation of their own, they create allies with propaganda.  

They’ve interfered in the election of the largest nation in Africa, Nigeria, the USA, their largest geo-political competitor, helped promote Brexit, and Marine Le Pen-they hoped she and Brexit would destroy their other geo-political competitor the EU. Russia says they respect each nation’s respective electoral system. Then why attack or manipulate elections? Putin knows that internal chaos in the countries of the West allow him to march towards the majority of his goal(S) which are pilfering natural resources in Africa or Latin America or making it easier for him to get the band back together (USSR), with conventional imperialism and colonialism, enabled by militarism, Ukraine being the crown jewel in that goal.

Putin has helpers, some driven by greed, others with the belief that “things” were better during the cold war. The young Gen X/older millennials at the helm of the social media companies have been driven by both greed and naivete. Greed is self-explanatory, naivete a little more difficult, I guess we Gen Xers and our Boomer parents didn’t do such a good job of explaining the dangers of doing business with a people whose culture is corruption.

 Eventually the propaganda drives the extremes to meet up at the end. Never more obvious than the positions taken by supposed opposites about the Russian War of Aggression in Ukraine, the far-left crying about peace. The far right is crying about how much it’s costing or some other ethno-nationalist talking point. Neither ever has an answer as to how much territory Ukraine should cede to Russia to achieve their respective goal

Russia is not complicated because Putin is not complicated. To quote a famous TV psychologist, people do what works. Their techniques and strategies have worked for decades, they have student nations who use the same techniques (see Cuba, China, Iran). They use the internet and social media to study us, just as they’ve embedded agents in our countries for years. We cannot rely solely on our respective governments to defend us, the world must come together if we are to be free, it really is up to all of us.

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