Day: August 29, 2008

Putin and the bad advice

That there is at present something seriously wrong with the Kremlin’s propaganda machine is demonstrated in no uncertain manner by prime minister Putin’s latest outburst suggesting that the United States helped Georgia for domestic political reasons – as White House Press Secretary Dana Perino pointed out.

“To suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate – it sounds not rational,” she said.

“Those claims first and foremost are patently false, but it also sounds like his defence officials who said they believed this to be true are giving him really bad advice.”

Moscow and its siloviki had better get their act together – or they risk finally losing the information war in the same way as they have already lost the diplomatic war. There’s a limit to how far a disinformation campaign can rely on word of mouth, gullible journalists and pass the parcel to distribute its messages – if their content is simply too outlandish, the messages become at best self-defeating satire and fantasy, and at worst, dissolve into mere gibberish.

Enigma

“The oddity of this convention is that its central figure is the ultimate self-made man, a dazzling mysterious Gatsby. The palpable apprehension is that the anointed is a stranger — a deeply engaging, elegant, brilliant stranger with whom the Democrats had a torrid affair. Having slowly woken up, they see the ring and wonder who exactly they married last night.”

Charles Krauthammer, on the enigmatic Barack Obama.

Anti-semitism linked to anti-Georgian campaign

Window on Eurasia writes of how

Russian anti-Semites are using their media outlets to play up the links between Georgia and Israel and what they claim is the central role of the Jewish state in helping Georgia to become a military threat to Russia, reportage that cannot fail in the current environment to rekindle anti-Semitic attitudes among some radical Russian nationalists.