By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
With momentum building for legislation called the Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, the “progressives” who were in Moscow’s back pocket during the “Cold War” are now being mobilized to save Vladimir Putin’s Russia from a tough Western response to the invasion of Ukraine. A NATO summit scheduled for September 4 and 5, 2014, at Newport, Wales, in the United Kingdom, is shaping up as a major target for street protests.
The “Stop the War” coalition, based in London, predicts the “biggest protests in a generation,” in order to stop NATO’s “war on the world.”
Opposition to NATO is building as new evidence has surfaced that the Kremlin is secretly manipulating the global green movement, in order to maintain and increase European dependence on Russian oil and gas supplies.
In an extraordinary statement that failed to generate much attention in the American media, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general and former prime minister of Denmark, publicly warned that Russian agents are working to prevent Western nations from exploiting their own energy resources.
In remarks on June 19, he said, “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations, environmental organizations working against shale gas, obviously to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas.” Shale gas can be developed through a technique known as fracking.
The sensational charges made big headlines in Europe, in such papers as The London Times “Russian agents secretly working to undermine fracking, says Nato chief” and the British Independent (“Nato boss claims Russia has secretly infiltrated green groups fighting fracking”).
In the U.S., however, we only found a few stories, in such publications as The Daily Caller and Forbes. Ezra Levant, a Canadian journalist and author of the new book Groundswell, which makes the case for fracking, told The Daily Caller that he wouldn’t doubt that Russia finances the “green” movement, saying, “Vladimir Putin is a former KGB agent—this is what he did during the Cold War. They undermined the West from the West. They financed peace and disarmament groups. They even helped finance the British coal miners’ union to strike against the U.K.”
The Forbes piece, “The KGB’s Successors And The ‘Greening’ Of Europe,” was by William F. Shughart II, research director and Senior Fellow of the Independent Institute and a business professor at Utah State University. He noted that “…shale deposit that have made the United States the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas,” also lie “beneath much of Europe.”
But Europe has not exploited these resources. What’s more, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was a communist propagandist in her native East Germany, is phasing out Germany’s nuclear energy program, making Germany even more dependent on Russian gas than ever before. Pressure to cancel Germany’s nuclear program had come from the German Green Party, which is linked to Moscow and NSA defector Edward Snowden through Hans Christian Ströbele, a member of the German Parliament, and a Marxist attorney.
In response to the report of Moscow’s role in the Green movement, the Russia Today (RT) propaganda channel ran an article by Caleb Maupin, identified as “a political analyst from New York City and…an activist with the International Action Center and Workers World Party.” He asked, “Are we to truly believe that opposition to it [fracking] is merely a Kremlin conspiracy?” He warned that “such remarks” were “dangerous” and constituted “McCarthyism,” a reference to the anti-communist senator from Wisconsin.
In fact, the Workers World Party (WWP) is a Marxist-Leninist political party, and the International Action Center is one of its front groups. The WWP runs a “Stop Fracking” campaign, with WWP organizer Betsey Piette proclaiming, “Stop fracking. Abolish capitalism. Build a workers world!”
Interestingly, the group opposes any U.S. help for Ukraine, viewing with alarm the toppling of Lenin statues in the country.
RT claims that the Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 would constitute “preparation for a blitzkrieg attack on Russia” because it builds up NATO troops in Europe. The legislation also authorizes direct military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons and small arms, and provides authority for exports of U.S. natural gas to key countries in Europe.
One-time conservative Patrick J. Buchanan opposes the bill, calling it “an ultimatum to Russia that she faces a new Cold War…”
But most of the key figures in the anti-NATO protests come from the political left. They include:
- Boris Kagarlitsky, the director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements in Moscow, and affiliated with the Transnational Institute (TNI), a group founded in 1974 as the international program of the Washington D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies
- Joseph Gerson, who has served the American Friends Service Committee since 1976 and is currently AFSC Disarmament Coordinator
- Unofficial Obama adviser and Marxist agitator Medea Benjamin, the founder of Code Pink, who is very close to such notables as Jodie Evans, an Obama fundraiser, and Bernardine Dohrn, the former Weather Underground terrorist leader and associate of the President when he was a Chicago politician on the rise
Benjamin is also a co-founder of Global Exchange, a group that sponsors trips to Venezuela and Cuba, which took out an ad in a memorial service booklet in honor of the Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army (BLA) member Marilyn Buck, a convicted terrorist who died last year. “Marilyn we appreciate your love and your sacrifices,” it said. The ad featured a quote from Fidel Castro sidekick Che Guevara about a “true revolutionary” being guided by “feelings of love.”
Global Exchange is also a member of the “Hands Off Assata” campaign, which is designed to discourage the FBI from seeking the return of convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur, a Black Liberation Army member who fled to Cuba after escaping from prison with the help of the Weather Underground.
At the “No to NATO” rally in Chicago in 2012, Medea Benjamin and her comrades shouted in favor of “clean energy” and “reproductive rights.” They chanted, “Women want justice and peace.”
Earlier this year, Benjamin conducted a strategy session with a group called “People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism” (POWIR). They “discussed the importance of continuing to organize against U.S. wars and imperialism, mentioning the big 2012 anti-NATO protest in Chicago,” one report said.
It seems that NATO is still one of their big targets. The Kremlin appreciates—and quite likely directs—their efforts.
Perhaps Congress ought to consider re-establishing House and Senate committees on internal security, in order to name the names of those doing Moscow’s bidding.