[spectre] Dispatches from Ukraine: Tactical Media Reflflections and Responses

xname xname at xname.cc
Sun Jul 17 18:00:52 CEST 2022

Dear Rasa,

Thanks for sharing, and I send you all blessings from London.

The way I read Heats' questions is different, as imho it is always good 
to know who is funding a project and whether those involved as somewhat 
"objects" of the publication have the tools (ie can read the story) to 
participate in the discussion.
It is also fair to remember that the Netherlands has a certain 
reputation of having journalists thrilled to get involved and enunciate 
sentences about "other people's wars" (possibly moved by the kick in 
adrenaline to temporarily forget their lingering depressive boredom, 
eventually stemming from a Ritalin infused society...). This isn't 
obviously about Geert but the general tendency of a small privileged 
society who gives itself credits to comment on other people's non 
privileged societies from shiny institutes with ergonomic chairs and 
fast bandwidth, eventually staring at the ducks swimming through large 
windows facing the canal.

But this is also a partial story infected of stereotypes.

Because the discussion is of course much more complex.

Every time there is a war, there is someone, some "parts", that are 
making money because of the world. Big money.
There is also another reality: the function of weapons is to kill and 
make war.
If you add weapons to the table, you'll increase the "phase space" of a 
war. By no means increasing weapons diminishes war.
Such weapons have also another function, that of making a few rich. It 
is numerical.

These are simple facts, not judgment, not theory.

During my childhood, in Milan in the 80s, I had an opposite experience 
than yours: my country had been culturally colonised by the US (cinema 
TV clothing etc), and they did think they were better. Most people did 
not notice at all they were colonised, because they had been 
brainwashed. As I happened to dislike American cinema and Disney's total 
animation, but I did read a lot of Italian and French and Russian 
literature and philosophy, I must say it did happen to me during my 
childhood to wish I was in the Soviet Union instead, hoping that that 
would be a better alternative from the dumb hypnotic imperialism that 
had subsumed my contemporaries.

Saying that Biden and the United States are worried about "freedom" and 
the freedom of Ukraine, makes me grimly grin.
First of all, the US has done the same several times, for example when 
it invaded Afganistan. Where they fighting for peace?
Secondly, NATO's incessant expansion was clearly tilting any possible 
balance, or that which was left and gave stability during the cold war, 
the binomial function that divided the world but somehow also kept it 

And you know what happens when you have a dickhead on the one hand, and 
another dickhead on the other: things suddenly crack!
Especially if these two dickheads who are toying with the future of the 
world basically don't care about the future at all because they are old 
and they shall retire rather than approach international politics 
without any logic or fear because there is nothing better than a great 
big final collective showdown, rather than a slow lonely end in the 

But there is more: as much as making more weapons is not obviously going 
to stop the war, there is also a linguistic issue at play, or better a 
semiotic one. This war has reintroduced the cult for words such as 
courage, nation, heroism, all masculine virtues connected to patriotism. 
But, personally, I don't believe in national identity, I don't want 
borders, I don't care about patriotism, I despise it. And maybe there 
are some women in Ukraine who think so too.

But ultimately it is all very sad and I don't have any answers, I am 
just as confused by the many viewpoints, and of course it is great that 
the Dutch are using some of their funding to make a well designed 
English publication in homage to the people who are dying - and perhaps 
they are also trying to make some theory about what's happening, but I 
did wonder where the money was coming from too as sometimes oppressors 
(or weapons producers) hire and finance their own opposition, that 
happens all the time, so instead of having someone against them, the 
opponents become their employees, it's a brilliant strategy wildly used 
in the UK too to make things appear as if they had a broad critical 
spectrum, as if there was freedom of speech.

So, if I was Geert, I'd have just shared the info immediately rather 
than reacting in a defensive tone.

In the end, I don't speak Russian, altho I did try to study it when I 
was in primary school, and it took a long time to find a book as there 
was no manual, no books, no recordings, nothing. But I did learn the 
alphabet and the first word I looked up, which stayed with me forever, 
was мир -/mir/, PEACE.

My 2 cents

Paolo Fabbri, my professor of semiotics, used to say that 'peace' is an 
active process, which requires more energy and force because it has to 
be made, it doesn't exist per se. WAR instead is a constant state and 
applying it means simply going with the social flow.

On 2022-07-17 09:57, Rasa Smite wrote:
> heath
> I am sorry, but your messages don't make any sense, they are full of
> "jumbled thoughts", or may be my English is not sophisticated enough
> but I don't get your point,
> may I make it bit more clear here - that since the Feb 24, 2022 (war
> in Ukraine started) there are basically only two sides - either you
> support Ukraine's fight to get free from Russia's occupants, or you
> accept that Putin's Russia can go on and take the dominance,
> continuing to use their worst and most cynical war methods against
> civilians in Ukraine - now, and later in other countries.. (they will
> never stop, as they never have enough - not only many experts say so,
> but also my personal experience - of living my first 20 years in my
> life in Russia's occupied Latvia).
> there is no other third way, as this is not a democratic country we
> deal with, it's based on lies, it always was, and these lies are very
> different ones than those in your 'bad' capitalist countries, because
> they are really dangerous, 'imperialistic' (as you say) and
> chauvinistic, they make other nations they occupy lesser than them,
> and make other world to believe their 'cultures' are bigger and
> better, while our (other Eastern European, and former occupied
> countries) voices then have always been shut up, you were used to call
> us "rusophobs", which is totally not the case and never was, many of
> my best friends are Russians.
>> can we not leave nation states to fight it out between themselves ?
> of course not! the 'nice' Western people already for too long have
> accepted Russia's Kremlin propaganda and their hybrid media wars as in
> Baltics, never taking too seriously, and again calling us Rusophobes,
> Western countries were always shutting us up when our governments gave
> the serious warnings in various (especially recent ones) European
> meetings.
> so either you listen bit more carefully what the other nations who
> have been under long occupation think of the war in Ukraine and Russia
> as country,
> or you can try yourself to visit Russia and try to figure out what the
> 140 million people there really think..
> or, move to Latvia, if you really want to understand and personally
> experience how does it feel to live just 200 km from the border of the
> big threatening country, who already occupied us once. it is here very
> different feeling to be here - as Latvia (which is rather poor
> country) is hosting 40 000 refugees from Ukraine, where my friends are
> delivering jeep cars privately to the Ukraine to help them (while
> other pacifistic Western European countries deny or delay their
> military support), and we do this because at least 30% by official
> statistics believe that we will be next... (sooner or later).
> so any, even the most tiniest expression or sign of a help or support
> such as an art residency or writing activist project, supporting
> Ukrainian position is worth it, because it is a simply a humanistic
> act, so much needed, as their hearts and lives are broken no matter if
> they have escaped, but they are aware of that in their country Russian
> militarists continue to kill and rape...
> so while pacifism has long way to be achieved, there are humans and
> their lives that need any support or a sign of any solidarity now...
> any critical skepticism towards those who do something is the least 
> needed.
> Jaanis sent you great sources, you better read them first before
> questioning, if they are trustful enough for you.
> and last but not least, I also can share my own 'jumbled thoughts' by
> referring to Manovich's post in FB, when he said that please consider
> that many people (especially young ones) in Russia would prefer to
> live in your "rotten" capitalist system. So am I, as I have
> experienced both - communist and capitalist governments. And here I am
> largely suspicious about your pacifistic ideas, as well as other UK's
> May 1st Day activist ambivalent intents (how I call them - marxists
> with Porsche): may be you simply don't want countries like Ukraine,
> Moldova, Georgia, etc. to share with your capitalist "goods" and
> people achieving just to live their normal lives?
> best
> Rasa
> On 16/07/2022 14:49, heath bunting wrote:
>> jaanis
>> thanks for links - will take a look - not hopeful for making
>> good decision on these though, as it takes years of careful scrutiny
>> to determine whether sources are reliable and not mouthpieces for 
>> in-tell agencies
>> why does russian state propaganda matter to grass roots activists ?
>> i would have thought super-state propaganda vs sub-state propaganda is 
>> more relevant
>> can we not leave nation states to fight it out between themselves ?
>> overwhelming evidence suggestions that unlawful trans-national 
>> entities such as empires (united state of america empire: USAE) are a 
>> greater threat to individuals/ humanity than lawfully constituted 
>> nation states
>> what's more of a threat to peace ? 1000 foreign USAE military bases or
>> 2 russian foreign military bases ?
>> hope all is well
>> heath
>> On Sat, 16 Jul 2022, jg at 21.x-i.net wrote:
>>> Most of your questions about importance of fighting russian state 
>>> propaganda can be answered by these expert resources:
>>> https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/03/08/meduza-is-granting-open-access-to-all-content-about-the-war-in-ukraine-under-a-creative-commons-license 
>>> https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/07/12/meduza-is-hiring-a-social-media-editor-for-its-english-language-edition 
>>> https://theconversation.com/russias-disappearing-independent-media-why-they-closed-178590 
>>> https://netzpolitik.org/2020/russian-disinformation-the-network-of-fake-foreign-media/ 
>>> https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-war-in-ukraine-is-about-the-reunification-of-the-russian-people2 
>>> The Russian neo-Nazis fighting Vladimir Putin’s war to ‘denazify’ 
>>> Ukraine
>>> https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/07/15/dying-to-kill
>>> List of few independent  resources in Russian..
>>> https://www.youtube.com/c/Popularpolitics
>>> https://www.youtube.com/c/NevzorovTV
>>> https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyginLive
>>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzaqqlriSjVyc795m86GVyg
>>> https://www.youtube.com/c/Gordonua
>>> On 16/07/2022 11:03, heath bunting wrote:
>>>> geert
>>>>> supporting Ukrainian media and confronting Russian state 
>>>>> propaganda.
>>>> these aims appear to be very aligned to imperial interests
>>>> what do you mean by ukrainian media ? state/ corporate or grass 
>>>> roots ?
>>>> why is it important to confront russian state propaganda ?
>>>> who is at risk of this messaging ?
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phantasmata and illusions


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