There is a problem with the so called anti-Putin (in reality anti-Russian) global “liberal” franchise. (This franchise sometimes takes the form of a Western-financed virulent upheavals like Ukraine’s Maidan. At other times it hibernates in the form of negative mainstream media stories on familiar stereotypical subjects, Russian and not Russian.)
The problem with the franchise’s operators is very simple. These people can’t get anything right.
There is a constant dearth of ideas, and when there are ideas, they tend to be so embarrassing, that they actually become counterproductive, working in Putin’s favour.
For example, Novaya Gazeta’s journalist Arkady Babchenko, who in 2014 covered the infamous siege of DNR’s Slavyansk from the positions of the Ukrainian troops, tried to lash out at the public movement of the Eternal Regiment.
Participants of that movement (at least 1 million of them) marched with portraits of their ancestors (veterans of the World War II) through the streets of Russian cities on May 9 – Russia’s Victory Day.
“I don’t want to see this,” Babchenko wrote on Facebook. “Such a huge number of dead people’s photos produces a negative physiological reaction inside me. It looks like a march of walking corpses.”
As one could easily expect, Mr. Babchenko managed to garner a few Facebook signs of approval from the liberal media’s usual audience. A few hundred people, who last year willingly believed liberal media’s stories about the relatives’ portraits being government-distributed fakes, approved of Mr. Babchenko’s physiological instincts.
Millions of dead soldiers’ real relatives however got quite angry at Babchenko and at the media he represents – the pro-Western Novaya Gazeta in the first place. Indignant reactions flooded the Internet and appeared in printed media.
The damage to the anti-Putin franchise from Mr. Babchenko’s idea of calling his country’s (and his own!) saviours “walking corpses” was bigger than anything the “Kremlin propaganda” could ever invent.
“The convulsive hatred which Babchenko exudes at the sight of symbols of Russia’s victory in the Great Patriotic War is actually a good sign. It shows that these are the right symbols, which produce on the likes of Babchenko the same effect, which the Holy Cross produces on the devil,” Nikolai Troitsky, a former political commentator at Ekho Moskvy and RIA Novosti wrote on his Facebook page.
The technology of “regime change” is well known and well tested – first you discredit a country’s government, making its members look corrupt, outdated and out of touch with reality. Then you provoke that government into using violence, combining the image of a victim with the image of a cool guy – witty, guitar playing and forward-looking in technology. Technical devices have changed, but the principle stays the same, from anti-Louis XVI pamphlets in the eighteenth century to nationalist thugs with Twitter and Facebook during Ukraine’s Maidan.
The German news magazine Der Spiegel described the modern application of the regime change technology back in 2004, in the aftermath of the anti-Milosevic Otpor’s “revolution” in Serbia in 2001 and Mikheil Saakashvili’s “rose revolution” in Georgia.
The name of Der Spiegel’s article is “Revolutions GmbH,” which can be roughly translated as “The Franchise Named Revolution.” The article pays special attention to the “coolness” requirement for the Western-financed revolutionaries – they have to be witty and entertaining, reserving the role of the nerds for the “regime” (a name routinely used by MSM to label any government not supporting the US and the EU with 100 percent loyalty).
So, the Russian anti-Putin franchise tries to crack jokes too. But they never come up with anything on the level of the French revolutionaries’ mortal blow to Marie-Antoinette’s reputation in the 1780s, when all France believed that the French queen did actually say “If the farmers have no bread, let them eat brioches.” (In reality, Marie Antoinette never uttered this phrase.)
The closest to that funny lie which the Russian opposition has managed to produce was just one “viral” joke, spread soon after the US and the EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia in 2014. Here it is: “A fridge will defeat a TV set” (meaning that Russia’s economic problems will prevail in the public’s psyche over attempts to make life look good on the presumably subservient Russian federal television.)
“If the fridge does not prevail over the TV set, I will call Russian society a bunch of tramps!” commented in 2015 Yevgeny Gontmakher, an anti-Putin economist and a member of the Committee on Civic Initiatives, a liberal think tank founded by the former finance minister Alexei Kudrin, a darling of the West.
In 2016 Gontmakher had to admit he was still waiting for the fridge’s victory, with Putin’s rating, as always, well over 80 percent.
The truth is that President Putin is not a nerd, and he is not a dictator, and his policies are not outdated. And Russian television is not nearly as subservient as the CNN or Fox News, which reported that the Syrian opposition had “no Islamist elements” inside it in 2012, when schools were already blown up by suicide bombers in Damascus.
The liberal franchise’s technology just does not work, because the realities it wants to see in Russia are simply NOT THERE.
“He [Putin] ran his economy into the ground,” President Obama said about Putin in 2015, clearly putting his hopes on the aforementioned fridge (as prosaic as it may seem for the “idealistic President of Hope,” which Obama claimed to be). But somehow, it is not the Russian people, but the deputies of the French parliament who are bemoaning the effect of the mutually imposed food sanctions (which are actually giving a boost to Russia’s food industry). In April 2016, the French parliament even adopted a resolution recommending the French government top walk out of the sanctions’ regime against Russia.
“We have to admit that the EU’s exports to Russia fell by 12.1 percent, while before the sanctions there were 1.200 French companies with assets on Russian territory and 6-7 thousand French exporters to Russia,” the deputies of the French Assemblee Nationale noted. Calling on the French government to lift the sanctions against Russia, which had no effect on the fulfilment – or rather non-fulfilment of the peace agreements on the Ukrainian conflict – a deputy, Pierre Lellouche, put it bluntly: “It is not the Russian government that does not fulfil the Minsk agreements on amnesty and more self-rule for the Ukrainian regions, it is the Ukrainian political class that sabotages these agreements, divided and corrupt as this class is.” One could not possibly put it better.
Now little by little, the nations of the world are going to see: the US-sponsored revolutions are no laughing matter, actually. The foreign-financed clowns may become butchers, like Ukrainian President Poroshenko, who got standing ovations in the parliaments of Canada and the US, when 8 thousand of HIS citizens were losing their lives in Donetsk and Lugansk.