On Point: Putin Funds Fake Protests, Rattles Nukes

by Austin Bay
April 20, 2022

Fake protests throughout the world and threats of nuclear war -- in 2022 we witness a violent echo of 1983's Kremlin-orchestrated frauds.

I'll address the nuke threat first.

On Feb. 27 Russian President Vladimir Putin played drama king and put Russian nuclear forces on high alert. His war in Ukraine already failing, Vlad added nuclear pucker factor. Translation into emotional propaganda: world beware, or I'll start Armageddon.

In 1983 the Russians worked a "reserve psychology" propaganda trope using nukes. See, the U.S. was the threat to launch a nuclear war in Europe, even though the Kremlin had physically created the conditions for nuclear war.

In the 1970s the Russian Empire, in the guise of the Soviet Union, started deploying SS-20 ballistic missiles to eastern Europe. The missiles threatened western European cities with quick destruction. NATO responded to Russia's escalation with a "dual track" policy pushed by President Jimmy Carter's hem and haw administration. NATO would negotiate to remove the SS-20s but, should the Russians refuse to withdraw them, NATO would deploy equivalent systems.

The Kremlin's chess players snickered. They saw their end game: Negotiations would fail. Leveraging anti-American tropes (Adolf Hitler dismissed Americans as "cowboys"), Moscow's propagandists would portray NATO's response to the SS-20s as the aggressive act. To frightened Europeans, America's promise to protect Europe with its nuclear umbrella would morph into an American nuke threat to Europe. The chess geniuses argued this propaganda judo could shatter NATO.

Moscow's 1983 geniuses were totally wrong. The Reagan administration rebuffed the Soviet Union's calculated ploy to divide NATO.

As for fake protests -- 1983's were far more convincing than 2022's.

In mid-1983, NATO confirmed it would deploy U.S. cruise missiles to Britain and Italy and Pershing 2 missiles to West Germany to counter the SS-20s.

Immediately, concocted by Moscow, The Great Political Panic Crisis to stop NATO's counter-deployment began in full media fury. Western "peace" organizations, pacifists, Communist sympathizers and academic idiots demonstrated throughout Europe and the U.S., their protests motley yet synchronized. In October 1983 the demonstrations intensified -- a crescendo. The hysterics in leftist media howled about Reagan's nuclear war.

On Nov. 22, West Germany's parliament approved the missile deployment. The next day, U.S. missiles arrived in Europe.

Point No. 1: Nuclear war didn't erupt. Point 2: Kremlin chess masters ... were checked. Eighteen months later, Mikhail Gorbachev's reformist Kremlin regime accepted a deal U.S. President Ronald Reagan, the cowboy nuclear warmonger, had offered prior to the Crisis -- no SS-20s, no U.S. missiles.

Now back to our 2022 and the Kremlin's latest fake protests.

Perhaps the most telling example occurred in the Central African Republic (CAR). It's a pitiful place of violence just north of Congo.

I paraphrase StrategyPage.com's March 5 update. In the CAR's capital of Bangui "a hundred protestors held a demonstration to support Russia's invasion of Ukraine... They waved Russian and CAR flags." Why? StrategyPage's answer: "Russia provides the CAR with weapons and Wagner Group military contractors. The Wagner Group, which reports directly to Russian president Vladimir Putin, is active in several African countries."

The Wagner Group are mercenaries.

Fake protest? Bet on it. However, only outfits like Reuters and AFP cover the CAR.

Not so the coordinated pro-Putin protests elsewhere, especially the coordinated media displays in Europe.

On April 3 pro-Russian protests occurred in Athens, Greece and Berlin, Germany. The Germany protests outraged Berliners.

April 10: The London Times reported "hundreds of flag-waving nationalists paraded through Dublin, Hanover, Frankfurt and Limassol (Cyprus)..." supporting Russia. According to The Times, some of the Frankfurt protesters held "banners reading: 'Truth and diversity instead of propaganda.'"

Read that as projection of the evilest sort.

Serbia has had the only believable demonstrations. On April 15 several hundred protesters marched through Belgrade chanting "No NATO" and "Serbians and Russians are brothers." Serbia has yet to impose sanctions on Russia.

Big support for Putin's genocide? No. The London Times and other media reported Rossotrudnichestvo, a Kremlin agency in contact with expatriate Russians, may have been coordinating the protests.

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To find out more about Austin Bay and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.


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