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How sarcastic remarks became basis for resurrecting ‘Russiagate’

By Drago Bosnic | November 8, 2022

The so-called “Russiagate” conspiracy theory has been the main go-to scapegoat for the failures of the DNC, be it the 2016 presidential or 2018 midterm elections. For six years the mainstream propaganda machine has been parroting the supposed “Russian election meddling” narrative.

Despite the official investigation giving no proof to support the claims that Moscow secured the United States presidency for Donald Trump, “Russiagate” persisted even after he left office. Several major events, such as the humiliating US defeat in Afghanistan and the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, pushed the debunked conspiracy theory out of the spotlight for some time. Still, just when the world forgot about “Russiagate”, the propaganda machine decided to resurrect it as a scapegoat once again, this time for the 2022 midterms.

On November 7, The New York Times published a report claiming that the Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, the alleged “true founder and financial backer” of the “Wagner” PMC (private military company), made a “sardonic” statement about the supposed Russian meddling in 2022 US midterms. The Western mainstream media regularly accuse Prigozhin of “having close ties” with Russian President Vladimir Putin and they’ve even given him a rather cliché “supervillain” nickname – “Putin’s Chef”. Despite holding no official position in the Russian government, he is accused of conducting “clandestine operations” for the Kremlin, including alleged election interference.

“Gentlemen, we have interfered, we do interfere and we will [continue to] interfere,” Prigozhin said in a statement in response to a question from a Russian news outlet. “We will do it carefully, precisely, surgically as we are capable of doing it. During our targeted operations, we will remove both kidneys and liver at once,” he concluded in what was quite obviously a sarcastic remark. Russian news agency RIA Novosti described the comments as such as well, but the US mainstream propaganda machine is adamant that the statement is “clear proof” that Russia will supposedly affect the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections.

In 2018, Prigozhin was even indicted by the US that he funded and organized the so-called “troll factory” to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections, which was one of the staples of the “Russiagate” conspiracy theory. Despite no clear evidence that he did any of this, in 2021 the FBI put Prigozhin on its most-wanted list, while the US Treasury imposed sanctions on him for allegedly “organizing disinformation campaigns” in elections in Asia, Europe and Africa. The Biden administration placed additional sanctions on Prigozhin in March, due to his supposed “crucial role” in Russia’s counteroffensive against NATO aggression in Europe.

The US State Department also commented on Prigozhin’s statement, with the spokesman Ned Price calling it “a bold confession”. She added that it was “clear that a person of Mr. Prigozhin’s stature would not be in a position to make such claims unless the Kremlin, at some level didn’t approve.”

According to The New York Times, the unnamed “researchers” have supposedly “detected a new, though more concentrated, campaign by Russia to try to influence Tuesday’s midterm elections.” The alleged goal is “to empower angry conservative voters with the aim of undermining faith in American democracy … at a time when soaring energy prices and inflation threaten to dent support for the war, the campaign also appears intent on undermining the Biden administration’s extensive financial and military support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.”

The report further claims that “the campaign — using accounts that pose as enraged Americans — has specifically targeted Democratic candidates in the most heated races, including the Senate seats being contested in Ohio, Arizona and Pennsylvania.” The alleged “calculation appears to be that a Republican majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives could dent American support for the war in Ukraine.”

The claims are quite clearly yet another attempt to use foreign powers as scapegoats and an excuse between political opponents in the US. The New York Times is infamous for being one of the strongholds of the neoliberal portion of the US establishment. By accusing the “angry conservatives” of working with Russia, the outlet is obviously trying to discredit the GOP to help the Democrats and give them at least somewhat better chances in the midterms.

The Republicans themselves aren’t immune to this, as they also resort to it by accusing the DNC of working with China. However, in this particular case, the Democrats, terrified of the prospect of losing both the House of Representatives and the Senate, are trying everything in their power to sway public opinion toward supporting their policies, both domestic and foreign, the unpopularity of which has reached its peak in recent months.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

November 8, 2022 - Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , ,

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