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Tuesday, September 2 2014
Geopolitics/ Global Anti-Western AgitProp ?
A lot is to be learned from Eurasia Review, an intriguing global information site.
The Cold War was won by the West in 1989. It was an absolute but short-lived victory. Almost immediately, a revisionist coalition – both anti-American and anti-Western – emerged. It has now turned into a major geopolitical player, centered on the two post-communist Great Powers, Russia and China. It includes as well many « emergent » powers in the former Third World, from Iran and Turkey to India, Brazil and South Africa.
The new anti-Western coalition works either through bilateral or multilateral agreements or regimes or older international networks like the New Aligned Movement. One important multilateral regime is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which started in 1996 as common strategic forum for China, Russia and Central Asian countries, and was later on strenghtened by the accretion of « observers » (India, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia), « dialogue partners » (Belarus, Sri Lanka, Turkey) and « guest attendances » (the CIS, Asean and Turkmenistan). Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazerbayev boasted at one SCO conference that it comprised of « half of humanity ».
A lot about the new anti-American and anti-Western coalition is to be learned from Eurasia Review (www.eurasiareview.com) , an intriguing global online information site that claims a few thousand daily visitors. Eurasia Review was founded in 2009 and is currently reported as owned by Buzz Future LLC, an American company based in Albany, Oregon. Earlier information point however to addresses in Australia, Spain and Switzerland. The founder and president, Robert Duncan, is a journalist with both educational and professional roots in Spain.
Eurasia Review describes itself as « an independent journal and think tank that provides a venue for analysts and experts to disseminate content on a wide-range of subjects that are often overlooked or under-represented by Western dominated media ». It elaborates with the following remarks : « Despite the combined Eurasia and Afro-Asia areas containing over 70% of the world’s population, analysis and news continues to be dominated by a U.S. slant, and that is where Eurasia Review enters the picture by providing alternative, in-depth perspectives on current events. »
Such words are echoing both Nazerbayev’s contention about « half humanity » and older Soviet-style, Third World style or radical critics of « imperialist » (i. e. Western or American) domination in the media and culture. In fact, the publication’s very name is suggestive of some Russian influence : since the 1980’s, « Eurasia » has been an alternative appellation among Russian nationalists for the Soviet Empire and then post-communist Russia and the broader Rusian geopolitical sphere ; it has been used in the same way, more recently, by the Putin administration itself, who launched in 2011 an Eurasian Economic Union project slated to include most former Soviet countries by 2015.
Eurasia Review is modelled after such global news sites as RealClearPolitics that relay and agglomerate on a daily basis features and op-eds from other media, and provide some original investigation or opinion as well. It may include for good measure factual reports or even articles from the mainstream American or European press ; the bulk of its material stems however from the anti-Western coalition’s media or from radical leftwing Western media. Either out of design or by accident, it thus conveys an unified, manichean, anti-Western and anti-American perspective.
Thus, on August 23, 2014, Eurasia’s Review’s summary lists an op-ed from the libertarian American economist Randall G. Holcombe that most readers will understand as a proposal to starve Russia, even if Holcombe just says that Putin boasts Russia can withstand a food boycott from the West. Further articles on the same summary include American Terror Lives On, an op-ed from Margaret Kimberley, a columnist for Black Agenda Report (a mouth piece for the Black Left) characterizing the recent events in Ferguson and other places in the US as a legacy of America’s « terrible history of conquest, genocide and enslavement » and a continuation of the pre-Civil War « slave patrols ». A third article by Graham Peebles, an English educational activist involved in projets « in Palestine, India and Ethiopia », is aptly titled : Corporate Capitalism vs. Human Happiness.
Early samples just confirm where Eurasia Review stands and how it operates. On May 1, 2014, its summary lists an analysis on the Geopolitical Implications of the Ukraine Crisis by Richard Kraemer and Maia Otarashvili from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, an impeccable mainstream if not conservative American think tank ; an analysis by the Indian expert Rajiv Nayan on the tenth aniverary of United Nations Council of Security Resolution 1540 on Weapons of Mass Destruction which praises the Resolution, criticizes it as « structured on Western experience » and recommends « another shift to make its character truly international » ; a report on Archbishop Paul Cloakley’s reaction to Clayton Lockett’s « botched execution » in Oklohama on April 29 that and the « brutality » of American justice ; an op-ed by Ralph Nader ; an Azeri news agency report saying that Boeing is « ready to start procedures for Iran-US direct flights » ; an op-ed by isolationist journalist Ivan Eland against US drones in Yemen ; an article praising China for increasing controls on the use of coal.
Previous issues include The American Gulag, a rabid report on political repression in the Middle East by ultra-leftwing polemicist James Petras stating that « along with Israel the US is the main organizer of the vast chain of political prison camps that destroy the most creative and dynamic forces in the region » ; a « scholarly article » by Iranian analyst Mohmad Hassan Daryaei « offering in-depth critique of a recent article written by the US State Department’s Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Mr. Robert Einhorn on “Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran” » ; Poverty and War Condemn Capitalism, an op-ed by Fenian Cunningham, a Northern Irish journalist working for Press TV, the English language TV network of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The most clearcut and illuminating article ever published by Eurasia Review about the the rising anti-Western and anti-American coalition is perhaps Towards A Common Intercultural Civilization, a manifesto by Argentinian peace activist Hugo Novotny. It starts with the following remarks : « The US, Japan and the European Union nations are gradually losing their dominant positions in the world. At the same time, powerful countries like Brazil, India and China do not try to impose their political and cultural values on less developed countries, but rather they intend to base their relations on a mutually beneficial cooperation. Thus, the new system of international relations taking shape due to the growth of Asian, Latin American and African nations is erasing the fragile dependency and colonial servility inherited from the history of the last few centuries by means of the power of common agreements and convergence of interests. There is hope that this will turn the current global crisis into a true opportunity for positive global change. »
The more one reads Eurasia Review, one wonders whether the former Soviet apparatus was not transfered in toto to the new anti-Western coalition, either as a major strategic contribution by Russia or under other circumstances. As publicized by Eurasia Review, the former pro-Soviet galaxy (groups, intellectual families or individuals that were known until 1991 to be pro-Soviet in one way or another, communists, leftists, neutralists, peace activists, Third World activists, anti-American conservatives, and so forth) still tests positive today when it comes to the coalition members’ main interests : from the Tibet issue, where everybody supports China, to the Ukraine issue, where everybody supports Russia.
Anti-Western influence campaigns have been outreaching to Far Right politics in Europe as well. Here again, Russia’s role seems to be pivotal. According to Vincent Jauvert, an investigative journalist for the liberal French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, Russian « Eurasianists » like Sergei Narishkin, the Duma’s Speaker, or writer Alexander Dugin, entertain friendly relations Far Right or even Ultra Right figures in France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Rumania and Greece - who in turn support Putin’s domestic and foreign policies.
© Michel Gurfinkiel & PJMedia, 2014
Michel Gurfinkiel is the Founder and President of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think-thank in France, and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at Middle East Forum.
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