Neocon Anne Applebaum: Give Me Money To Fight ‘Russian Disinformation’!

Neocon Anne Applebaum has never seen a bed she did not expect to find an evil Russian lurking beneath. More than a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, she cannot let go of that hysterical feeling that, “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!” In screeching screed after screeching screech, Applebaum is, like most neocons, a one trick pony: the US government needs to spend more money to counter the threat of the month. Usually it’s Russia or Putin. But it can also be China, Iran, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, etc.

There is no doubt that Applebaum is a true believer that Putin wants to destroy our democratic institutions, but there is also a more pedestrian way to understand her endless obsession: it pays well to hype up big threats. In fact, according to a mandatory Polish government disclosure (her husband was Polish defense and foreign minister before being forced out in disgrace after an eavesdropping scandal), Applebaum has made out like a bandit for a humble journalist and think-tanker.

As I wrote when her scandal broke:

Interestingly, Applebaum demands transparency for everyone else while rejecting it for herself. A recent mandatory income declaration of her husband to the Polish government shows that her income has skyrocketed from $20,000 in 2011 to more than $800,000 in 2013. No explanation was given for this massive influx of cash, though several ventures in which she has a part are tied to CIA and National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated organizations. Could Applebaum be one of those well-paid propagandists about whom she complains so violently?

Applebaum’s latest Washington Post column is about…you guessed it: the danger of Russian disinformation! Here is a synopsis of Applebaum’s latest Cold War 2.0 propaganda piece from this weekend:

1) The mainstream media has taken a beating. The old business model is no longer working. There are too many new sources of information available, which makes it harder for people to judge the accuracy of what they read.

My comment: Indeed, the US mainstream media no longer controls what we see, read, and think. Applebaum cannot stand that there are websites challenging the central neoconservative foreign policy paradigm. She hates organizations like the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity (she even blocked us on Twitter!).

She longs for the days when you could only pick up a Washington Post or a New York Times and had no chance of discovering opposing opinions.

In other words, Anne Applebaum misses the Soviet-style monochrome media that she pretends to despise so much.

2) As a result of mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post losing their monopoly over shaping foreign policy opinion, as she writes: “authoritarian regimes, led by Russia but closely followed by China, have begun investing heavily in the production of alternatives.”

My comment: Applebaum is saying here that it’s all our fault that the Russians are coming because as soon as the Internet and alternative news and analysis sites offered a point of view different from Applebaum’s neocons, we played into the hands of the Russians by ignoring the Washington Post and turning to alternatives. If we had only kept our faith in the neocon worldview, the Russians would not be set to take us over.

3) This new Cold War is even worse than the old Cold War! Unlike back then, in the new Cold War, as Applebaum writes, “Russia does not seek to promote itself, but rather to undermine the institutions of the West, often using discordant messages.”

My comment: Anne Applebaum offers no evidence or even clues to back her claim. But what she is saying is that by allowing voices to be heard that run counter to the Washington Post and neocon foreign policy paradigm, Russian-funded outlets like RT are seeking to sow “confusion” among Western listeners and viewers. Applebaum does not want us to be “confused” by messages that run counter to the neocon view of a US empire fighting endless wars against manufactured enemies. We would be far less “confused” if we would all just read Anne Applebaum and stop questioning the neocons!

4) Don’t worry, this effort to sow confusion is being countered.

Applebaum writes:

Some countries are waking up to this, especially those that have been hardest hit. The invasion, occupation and dismemberment of Ukraine in 2014 was preceded by a highly effective propaganda blitz that fomented confusion in Russian-speaking areas and blinded both Ukrainians and Westerners to what was really going on. In response, Ukrainian organizations such as StopFake began to expose and ridicule Russian propaganda.

My comment: She does not explain exactly what that “propaganda blitz” looked like. Was it the release of the tape of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland plotting the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Kiev? Well, according to Applebaum, at least the noble, independent NGOs are spontaneously springing up across Europe to counter this Russian propaganda blitz!

Except for one problem: The “StopFake” organization that she praises is not a grassroots Ukrainian organization as she would have us believe. In fact it’s a George Soros astroturf organization, funded by his International Renaissance Foundation. In other words, “StopFake” is fake.

5) In fact, when it comes to funding, Anne Applebaum knows which side of her bread is buttered. As the Washington Post notes in the article’s byline: “Anne Applebaum, a Post columnist, and Edward Lucas, a senior editor at the Economist, are this week launching a counter-disinformation initiative at the Center for European Policy Analysis, where they are, respectively, senior vice president and senior adjunct fellow.”

My comment: Who funds the (Washington, D.C.-based) Center for European Policy Analysis? The United States Department of Defense and a handful of US defense contractors!

From their own website:

Recent donors to CEPA include:

  • Bell Helicopter
  • Boeing
  • Chevron Corporation
  • FireEye
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • New Vista Partners
  • Raytheon Company
  • Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Textron Systems
  • The East Tennessee Foundation
  • The Hirsch Family Foundation
  • The Hungarian Initiatives Foundation
  • The International Visegrad Fund
  • The Poses Family Foundation
  • The Smith Richardson Foundation
  • U.S. Department of Defense

There are one or two surprises on the above list. The Hungarian government of Viktor Orban has been quite cautious about following the neocon line that any resistance to massive refugee inflows from the Middle East are signs of unforgivable xenophobia and that Russia and Putin must be resisted at all costs. In fact, Orban’s opposition in Hungary is furious that he is not following the Russia-bashing neocon line. So why is the Hungarian government-funded Hungarian Initiatives Foundation backing Anne Applebaum’s neocon initiative to demonize Russia? Good question. Maybe Fidesz supporters will want to ask their government why their tax money is going to such a worthless, anti-Fidesz cause.

6) And again on funding, we come to the crux of Anne Applebaum’s problem: the US government does not spend nearly enough money creating its own propaganda to counter what she claims is Russian propaganda. They are outspending us and outmaneuvering us!

She writes:

There is no modern equivalent to the US Information Agency, an organization dedicated to coping with Soviet propaganda and disinformation during the Cold War. Although there has been some extra funding for U.S.-backed foreign broadcasters such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty , they cannot provide a complete response.

My comment: But that’s not really true, is it? The idea that the US government is pinching propaganda pennies while the Russians are going in for the whole fake news hog is not backed up by those pernicious little things called facts. In fact, the Russian government spent around $300 million on RT in 2016. Compare that with the US propaganda arm, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, whose 2017 budget runs to $777.8 million dollars, or more than two and a half that of RT. And Congress just gave the green light to another $100 million to “counter Russian influence” in its stop-gap omnibus budget. We are outspending them three-to-one. So why are we still “losing”?

Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is.

As for Russian “propaganda,” like everything else in that vast cornucopia now thankfully available for our consumption, we should read all we can while keeping our wits about us. There is no one authoritative, unbiased source of information. That we do know. But we also know that we are far more able to think for ourselves now that the neocon gatekeepers like Anne Applebaum have been defeated in the marketplace of ideas.

Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

25 thoughts on “Neocon Anne Applebaum: Give Me Money To Fight ‘Russian Disinformation’!”

  1. Applebaum accuses RT of committing journalism, a vile practice forbidden on fake news sites such as WaPo, NYT, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, BBC, et alii.

  2. This neo con human scum Anne Applebaum really made a lot of money from being anti Russian propagandist.

  3. On Hungarian issue. In every east European country neocons have established their think tanks using Soros money. Or should I say our money. Soros Foundation just has its tentacles in various US funded pockets. All those private foundations in one way or another get money from US.government. As for military contractors — practically all of their income comes from taxpayers. From the money that comes via contracts to develop their products, to the sale of the same to the government, and all sales to foreign markets are the result of our government lobbying overseas on their behalf. And when foreign governments either buy directly or facilitate purchases on behalf of their corporations, it usually comes with some benefits to them, and curtesy of US taxpayer. Neocons are just the pimps for the massive government troth. When those corporations spend money e sllnon propaganda outfits, they are using our money. As most of them have a very small trully private sector market that is not tied back in some way to government money. And they are losing the all important fear factor to keep politicians in line, to keep up the revenue.

    We should as a bare minimum add up all the so called NGO outfits around the world and determine US links to funding. One should not be fooled by names, as that means nothing. For example, one of the premier US influence peddler is German Marshal Plan Fund. It is fund set up by German “donation” to US to promote “democracy”. In many countries in Eastern Europe it promotes purely neocon policy, and is doing it in a manner that leaves no doubt that it IS official US policy. Many local politicians earn their brownie points by propagating it in domestic politics, and journalists, artists and academics get their share as well. They get it by competing for grants to ostensibly implement projects. It all amounts to the applicants being able to display their best product in advancing neocon ideology. There ere tens of thousands various NGO in the world, all in one way or another funded by us, the taxpayers. In many countries young and educated flock to such outfits, as jobs are scarce, and they more then willing to parrot whatever political lines to land a grant or a part time job.

    We the taxpayers have lost control of the purse, and this is the result.

    1. Agree!

      To add, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), estabished by Reagan at the height of the cold war, has never progressed beyond cold war thinking. karl gershman, neo con supremo, has funded NGO’s world wide with millions of taxpayer funds-he never saw an ngo he did not like as long as it reeked of anti-russian programs.

  4. I think that they will be stupid enough to move for banning RT and net censors.
    Then, the things will get serious… Soviet regime also controlled totally information in country, but it didn´t save them, people always find the truth.

  5. According to US “Intelligence,” cyber war ops are a cheap way for small powers to have large impact against the US.
    So why does the US regime always have to blow big money?

  6. The invasion, occupation and dismemberment of Ukraine in 2014 was preceded by a highly effective propaganda blitz that fomented confusion in Russian-speaking areas

    She rails against propaganda even while writing it. Any reasonable person reading about Ukraine for the first time would assume that Ukraine is now occupied by Russia and is broken into spheres of occupation. Without justifying Russia’s actions, the simple fact is that 95% of Ukraine is fully independent and pro-Western.

    So the ‘Russian speaking areas were confused’? They witnessed the President that they voted for get illegally driven out of the country after agreeing to early elections. They got the message. They didn’t need the Russian Federation to convince them that they were not welcome.

  7. Dissing the crude information dished out by Annie Apple is a fun way to kill some spare time…

    1. Whenever Neocons reply to me online, I tell them, “Neocons should be tried for war crimes.” :D

      It’s one of my favourite hobbies. #TryNeocons4WarCrimes

      1. Fair comment… keep a seat warm at Nuremberg II … a “journalist” (ie Nazi propagandist) was tried at the tribunal

  8. Agree with comment below, article was 2016, not 2017, but it does not matter, still accurate as far as applebaum is concerned.
    Her script does not change, give me money, russia is evil, blah, blah.

    She is one of the more irrelevant neo con hysteria stokers and she has much company in that category.

  9. In a civilised society, the Dep of Defence would donate to antiwar, QubesOS, Tor Project, wikileaks, etc….

    Such institutions are as important as gun rights.

    1. The Tor Project isn’t just donated to by the Department of Defense, it is a effectively a DoD project. 80% of its funding is from the US government.

  10. It is so entertaining to watch these once influential people flap in the wind seemingly unaware of their newly found irrelevancy. Couldn’t have happened to a better group a folk and I can still cross my fingers that prison will eventually happen to them as well.

  11. Applebaum, can you find some some resonance with Apfelbaum ?She must be some distant relative or descendant of Hirsch Apfelbaum,aka Grigory Zinoviev, who was shot in Soviet Union back in 1930s for treason. No wonder she is so hysterical.

  12. The Bolshevist party developed the concept of “Agitprop” which means Agitation and Propaganda. Stalin hung himself on his own Agitprop-petard when he held that foreign warnings that Germany would attack on June 22 of 1941 at 4 am German time was capitalist agitprop.
    The former secret service officer Putin knows what agitprop is. He will use it when needed. The targets of his Agitprop have every right to defend themselves if needed with their own Agitprop.

  13. Thanks Daniel,an excellent and a very much appreciated piece of writing.

  14. I don’t like both US and Russian propaganda. But stopfake is not fake at all, it’s a great source for correct information. The fact that most fake news regarding Ukraine are pro russian is just true.
    Antiwar is not antiwar at all, it’s just an amateur blog who parrots the kremlin propaganda. You can all be agaist US meddling in other countries, but you NEVER criticize a non western country doing the same. When Russia blackmailes Georgia, Ukraine, Moldovia, Estonia….you are silent like prostitutes.

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