Friday, September 10, 2004

Classical counter-intelligence

On Wednesday (8 September) the Guardian newspaper published an article by John Laughland, a "trustee" of something that calls itself "the British Helsinki Human Rights Group". The article, entitled "The Chechens' American Friends", purports to show the existence of an international American-inspired conspiracy, compounded of such diverse figures as the Democrat Zbygniew Brzezinski, the Republican "Neocons", Boris Berezovsky,and Akhmed Zakayev, all the way to Boris Nemtsov and Nikolai Ryzhkov, dedicated to advancing the cause of the Chechen resistance and fomenting hostility towards President Putin and his government. The title "British Helsinki Human Rights Group" makes the author's home organization sound as though it has something to do with the International Helsinki Federation, which is mildly critical of Putin. However, if one goes to the BHHRG website, at, one discovers that this is a site almost wholly devoted to supporting the line of the Russian government on a whole host of international issues, many of which are centred on Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. For example, we learn that while "Estonia has been hailed as a bastion of democracy", "there is another, darker side to the story", whereupon a litany of traditional Russian government anti-Estonian propaganda is trotted out, from alleged human rights abuses against Russian-speakers to stories about "child-trafficking". If we turn to the organization's files on Kosova (they call it Kosovo, of course) and Macedonia, these show the kind of historical falsifications only found in Chetnik and Russian nationalist publications. The single listed example of human rights abuses in Russia itself turns out to be evil Eurobosses threatening the people of Kaliningrad. And so on, and so on. A classical counter-intelligence website.

No comments: