Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 17, 2018

Guardian Rips-Off Goebbels - Fascist Propaganda For Better Anti-Russian Smears

Just recently the Rothschild organ The Economist depicted the Russian president Putin as a dangerous octopus.


The idea was not original at all. Russia has been the favored target of this denigrating comparison for more than a century.

The Guardian, no less anti-Russian than the Economist, now follows suit.


The Steve Bell Guardian cartoon, just like the Economist cover, demonstrates a lack of creativity and originality. The spider cartoon is an obvious rip-off from a anti-Russian Nazi campaign:


The archive description of the poster notes:

In early 1935, the Nazis unleashed an anti-Bolshevik campaign which it initiated with a series of traveling exhibits on the dangers of world Communism. This poster comes from the exhibit in Karlsruhe, the capital city of the German state of Baden. But its imagery is found in almost all of the posters of this exhibit.

Here Bolshevism is represented as a huge red spider, whose head is the familiar grinning skull topped with the red star. Sitting in the Soviet Union, the legs of the spider can still reach out to threaten the entire world.

The Guardian rip-off of Josef Goebbels' Nazi propaganda even copied the red star associated with communist ideology. How stupid - Putin and today's Russia are as capitalistic as it gets.

Plagiarizing others to foment anti-Russian sentiment is standard Guardian business. Its most fervent and stupid anti-Russian writer, Luke Harding, had to publicly apologize for stealing whole passages from the Exile, a Russian magazine in English language edited by Mark Ames, Yasha Levine and Matt Taibbi. For a good laugh watch this Real News interview on Harding's book "Collusion" in which Aaron Maté takes Harding apart.

One wonders how much the Economist, the Guardian and other anti-Russian outlets, writers and cartoon artists get from the $160 million fund the Obama administration budgeted to "counter an uptick in Russian propaganda". Taking such money would not be unusual. This 2015 Guardian report on a European Union anti-Russian propaganda fund was, for example, written by the U.S. government's RFE/RL propaganda outlet. A U.S. government propaganda write-up about a EU propaganda fund ends up as content on the Guardian site. Hey - why not? Even original Guardian content rarely ventures off from the official line.

Who by the way might have financed the anti-Russian spy series Strike Back which now replays on live TV as the Skripal Novichok drama?

The enormous amount of money from the dozens of officials and unofficial slush funds surely creates a lot of the anti-Russian noise. But for all the taxpayer money spent on the issue can we please ask for better than a warmed up Nazi campaign?

h/t Nina Byzantina

Posted by b on March 17, 2018 at 19:17 UTC | Permalink


Like the Nazis so long ago perhaps BoJo and Ms May will be directing an invasion of Russia this summer. One hears that the defenses around Volgograd will be a pushover.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Mar 17 2018 19:27 utc | 1

Keep your eye on the UK propaganda press(-all of it is now pretty much in unison), they will be an indicator of how soon a US air attack will take place in Syria.

The US, UK and France will want to punish Assad for the coming false flag chemical attack but it will be in the form of softening up the areas around Deir Ezzor and Palmyra again. They know E. Ghouta is lost, they need to take back the initiative. They will want to 're-invade' those areas with newly trained jihadists taking back the SAA's gains and thereby extending the war and perhaps a pincer movement to the north around Euphrates.

The Russians will probably take few bloody noses again, by accident of course, but they will retaliate and the MSM will herald a new opposition group taking on Assad. But what the Russians do in retaliation will be 'crashes' to western MSM, an F-16 crashed, an AH-64 crashes, a missile cruiser collides with something and so on and so forth.

It's all so predictable, however, the west is taking up a whole new level of dangerous posturing with Russia, this has more drama and wider ranging consequences than the Cuban missile crisis ever had. It looks like Trump is just along for the ride with this bit of foreign policy which is really, really dangerous.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Mar 17 2018 19:39 utc | 2

There are significant differences between cartoons of Nazis and The Guardian. In the former, Indochinese Peninsula is drawn rather correctly but Australia quite badly, while in The Guardian we see the reverse, correct outline of Australia and weirdly twisted Indochina. In the same vein, Nazis had a huge Caspian Sea with very flamboyant shore lines while The Guardian did not have that sea at all.

Could cartoonists refrain from mangling basic geography?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 17 2018 19:42 utc | 3

I think the picture of May over a vacuum cleaner in the bottom left corner of the propaganda reverts the meaning of the cartoon: it shows how much Theresa May is "over the top" with her Red Scare hysteria.

It is worth noting Bell is famous for paroding other famous pieces of Western pictographic history.

And his next cartoon clearly paints him on Corbyn's side:;;

Another fellow cartoonist, Martin Rowson, also didn't bite May's bait:

Posted by: VK | Mar 17 2018 19:56 utc | 4

I think that VK may be correct; while Germany is geographically close to England, Teutonic sense of humor is different from the English one, Brits often like the setting in which the "obvious meaning" is wrong. Nazi cartoon was perhaps used as a prop to be mocked, and the reception from the residents of England should be more authoritative here.

Which does not absolve Bell from drawing an obviously incorrect globe.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 17 2018 20:10 utc | 5

The Skripal anti-Russia hysteria effort is just another step in the US/CIA campaign to interfere with the Russian hosting of the World Cup -- the next step will be to attempt to have the qualifying European countries boycott the event ... remember, to them, every Russian loss is an American win.
However, I will go on record to predict that the US will have its Ukrainian neo-Nazi vassals mount a major attack on the Donbass within week of the beginning of the World Cup tournament.

Posted by: chet380 | Mar 17 2018 20:14 utc | 6

VK is entirely correct. Bell has a magnificent track record of anti establishment work and those familiar with it are unlikely to place the construction on it which you have.

More important, its appearance in the Guardian is perhaps a small indication that some contributors have retained their sanity.

Posted by: Cortes | Mar 17 2018 20:17 utc | 7

VK @ 4 - None of the Guardian links works for me.

Posted by: Quentin | Mar 17 2018 20:19 utc | 8

Seems quite contrived and unfunny, although I do like the addition of the 'tickling stick' as a tribute to the late Ken Dodd

Posted by: View from UK | Mar 17 2018 20:20 utc | 9

Well, once Al Qaeda was considered bad in the west, but now that they're fighting against the Syrian government they're hailed as good guys and rebels. Nazis were once considered the worst thing in the world but now that the west is allied with them in Ukraine perhaps they're just overdue for a face lift as well.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Mar 17 2018 20:22 utc | 10

@4. I am also inclined to give Mr. Bell's cartoon the benefit of the doubt. Who knows? He may even be taking a sly swipe at the guardian editors.

Posted by: Dh | Mar 17 2018 20:27 utc | 11

@Posted by: chet380 | Mar 17, 2018 4:14:40 PM | 6

I agree the World Cup is on the agenda, but this effort is multi-pronged, like Octi-putin, they will want to boycott it and you will see all sorts of FIFA related articles in the coming months, corruption and so on. It's all predictable.

This is a European energy issue. From the start. The US either wants to be the middle-man or cut Russia off from it entirely. No other options have been tabled or would be acceptable to Washington. Remember the Trump quote "Why don't we just take their oil and gas?" Look at the opposition gaining speed against Nord Stream II. And also look, the UK and all of Europe may be in for some cold summers and winters now, it's a trend they cannot ignore as it gets colder for longer periods, this trend isn't relaxing with the stratosphere doing some flips and turns and sending "The Beast From The East" towards the once Great Britain.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Mar 17 2018 20:28 utc | 12

It would be worth tweeting these images with captions describing the source for each.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Mar 17 2018 20:34 utc | 13

Nina Byzantina is a bright woman, resourcefully educated and talented.
Her tweets are often headliners, and she writes and does important translations, also.

This Brit False Flag is a distraction. In Syria, it looks like the US and vassals will soon launch a large missile strike. The intention is to harm Assad, take out his air force, harm Russian influence and pound the chests of the warmongers.

Russia's generals are prepared. Warnings have been issued to the US Command.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Mar 17 2018 20:35 utc | 14

As VK says above, I think you may be misreading Steve Bell's cartoon. He's usually good. The point here is that Britain is small and feeble (that's why the vacuum cleaner), but challenging a monstrous strawman they themselves have created, which is represented as the historic soviet spider. The emphasis is on the weakness of the British position.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 17 2018 20:36 utc | 15

Bell's sarcastic putdown of May with a Boris hair style is blatant ridicule of her extreme propaganda ploy regarding the poisoning episode.

Who gains from this latest 'russian outrage'? Christopher Steele has eliminated a potential underpaid whistleblower, Trump has revenge for the dossier campaign, May and MI6 get cover for working to support Hillary against Trump in the US elections? NordStream 2 is sabotaged by UK against the interests of Germany giving UK a double win. It is worth recalling the extreme stakes that are bound up in gas pipelines from the MiddleEast and Russia. Trillions are at risk to global corporations that have no cachet left in Iran, Qatar, Iraq, Russia etc, etc,.

Posted by: flamingo | Mar 17 2018 20:50 utc | 16

Thanks b and these are just in time for the elections in Russia. Go V. Putin.

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 17 2018 21:01 utc | 17

There are also other elements in the cartoon which I hadn't noticed. May, as usual, is represented as a clown. She is seated on a vacuum cleaner, which is described as 'UK money cleaner inc'. This means that, though May is attacking Russia feebly, she is also dependent on finance from Russian oligarchs who wash their money through the UK. The word 'inc', being American, suggests that the US is also involved in the hypocrisy.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 17 2018 21:01 utc | 18

I agree with VK. Steve Bell is a noted leftwing/anti-establishment cartoonist. This is almost certainly a parody of the knee-jerk/fascist propaganda of the Tories (and most of the rest of the ruling classs as well as The Guardian)

Posted by: JakeS | Mar 17 2018 21:05 utc | 19

I think also @Laguerre she is depicted as Don Quixote tilting at the Bolshevik windmill

Posted by: JakeS | Mar 17 2018 21:12 utc | 20

The red star is really telling. In the Cold War it was communism, which was the alleged reason for the u.s.- Russian antagonism. Communism long gone antagonism still standing. How come? As the lords of the planet do not want to tell they try to stand by their old explanation, even if its laughable.
Thanks again B.

Posted by: Pnyx | Mar 17 2018 21:20 utc | 21

Steve Bell's cartoon is caustic. Ms. sits on the vacuum cleaner of the 'UK Money Cleaner Inc.' evidently ready to suck up as much ill-earned money as she can to launder in Britain under her supervision. Whose money? Well, anyone's, from anywhere, including the country's whose president called Vlad Putin is a horribly, crawly creature that has first to be removed with the cobweb duster the witchlike lady is holding. But the monster is huge and ugly and the threatened cleaning woman small and vulnerable. So she now commands her team's help: US, France, Germany, EU, the whole gang of interested parties.

It's hard to imagine that Bell didn't 'borrow' the image of such a Nazi anti-Bolshevik poster. Without attribution? Presumably the one-dimensional Guardian gang (for example Luke Harding) failed to get the ironic criticism.

Posted by: Quentin | Mar 17 2018 21:22 utc | 22

Thierry Meyssan has important information on the nexus between the „rebels“ in Ghouta and the UK/ MI6: (good reasons to "hate" Putin...) e.g.

Ahrar el-Cham

...The FOREIGN MINISTER of this group, LABIB AL-NAHHAS, travels to the West. He is a British MI6 officer. In July 2015, he published free forums in the Washington Post and the Daily Telegraph.

Jeish el Islam

(originally run by Zahran Allouche) ….His cousin Mohammed Allouche … created the Unified Judicial Council, which imposed the Saudi version of Sharia law on all Ghouta residents. He notably organized executions of homosexuals by throwing them from the roof of buildings. He represents the group at the UN negotiations in Geneva.

The Allouche family is now comfortably settled in London. […]

„All of these groups and countless others have well-designed flags and logos as well as quality videos.

All of this communication material is manufactured by the United Kingdom. In 2007, it had a war propaganda unit, the Research Information and Communications Unit (RICU) headed by MI6 (Secret Service) officer JONATHAN ALLEN. Starting from the chemical weapons case in the summer of 2013, the RICU financed an external company to assist the communication of combatants in Syria (and subsequently those of Yemen). It was initially Regester Larkin, then Innovative Communications & Strategies (InCoStrat). Both companies are headed by an MI6 officer, Colonel PAUL TILLEY.
Jonathan Allen, whose rank we do not know, has become number two in the UK permanent representation at the United Nations. He is currently agitating in the Security Council against Russia and Syria.“

Notes: (#4) The MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD is a secret society that has provided almost all the leaders of Islamist terrorist groups around the world. It is a must to read my study* on their history and their international political role SERVING THE UNITED KINGDOM

* Book by T. Meyssan: Sous nos yeux : du 11-Septembre à Donald Trump, Demi-Lune, 2017. (soon available in English).

Posted by: Cassandra | Mar 17 2018 21:30 utc | 23

While I appreciate B's reaction to this, I also think it's a parody.

"Over the top" is an Englisch idiom meaning "too much" / "exaggerated" / "inappropriate".

IMHO the cartoonist has clearly labelled this depiction of Putin.

And I agree with the comment about the vacuum cleaner, it's really quite cleverly making fun of the UK Prime Minister and her governments grandstanding while London remains willing to launder Russian oligarchs' money.

Posted by: ahimsa | Mar 17 2018 21:33 utc | 24

My links at 4 absorbed the ";". Delete it and the links will work.

Posted by: VK | Mar 17 2018 21:38 utc | 25

When a German newspaper depicted Zuckerberg as an octopus, the reaction came quickly:

Posted by: Gesine Hammerling | Mar 17 2018 21:41 utc | 26

I like the company name on the vacuum cleaner. UK Money Cleaners inc.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 17 2018 21:47 utc | 27

IMO If the US is stupid enough to strike Syria it will likely happen tomorrow Sunday 3/18 during the Russian election. Also look for a possible Ukrainian attack on the breakaway provinces. Hope I am wrong but the crazies in Washington are drunk with arrogance.

Posted by: ken | Mar 17 2018 22:05 utc | 28

Above various commenters have almost certainly correctly recognised that the West is out to tarnish the World Cup in Moscow as a way of punishing President Putin. If I remember correctly, this happened during the Sochi Winter Olympics when the chaos in Kiev was unleashed. Or am I wrong?

Posted by: Quentin | Mar 17 2018 22:26 utc | 29

@Quentin, I don't think May commands anyone (except for the money UK). Like Don Quichot, in her lunacy she's at it alone. She also doesn't stand the slightest chance with her cobweb duster against her imaginary opponent recycled from a distant past.

The only thing I wonder is if The Guardian gate keepers didn't notice the irony themselves or if they (familiar with the British sense of humor and context) thought that their readers are too stupid, believing it would contribute further to the anti-Russia sentiment.

Posted by: xor | Mar 17 2018 22:27 utc | 30

I agree this is a misreading of Bell's cartoon.

Bell is no Nazi wannabe, he's way saner than his employers and reliably against elite-organised warmongering. His anti-Iraq-war cartoons for example are outstanding.

His use of Nazi anti-Russian imagery will be a deliberate satire on the current UK anti-Russian propaganda hysteria. He's mocking it, not promoting it. That's why the title of the work is Over the Top.

His use of atavistic anti-Bolshevik symbolism will also be consciously satirical. Bell's use of historical imagery is always well-informed and deliberate.

My takeaway: it's a mark of the deranged extremism of the UK official hate propaganda frenzy that a satirical work like Bell's cartoon can easily be taken at face value.

Posted by: Richard C | Mar 17 2018 22:35 utc | 31


The West still worships freedom of the arts. This is an inheritance from the Cold War era, where the cultural front was particularly fierce, and the arts were elevated to the status of the maximum expression of the atomized individual (i.e. individual freedom, freedom of enterprise).

So, for The Guardian to censor one of its artists (much more one with so much time in the house) -- even the hint of it -- would leak fast and be very bad for the newspaper's PR.

Posted by: VK | Mar 17 2018 22:49 utc | 32

"Over the top" is a clever title actually. Over the top, meaning madly excessive, comes from WW1 trench warfare where soldiers driven crazy by war climbed suicidally out of the trench.

So it's also an allusion to May's lunatic bravado in threatening Russia.

The UK regime's evidence-free and almost certainly false claim that Russia has used force against it amounts to a half-arsed declaration of war against Russia, basically an insane act no matter how much the UK needs a Brexit distraction or how much the US empire needs to consolidate anti-Russian unity among its vassals to defend its imploding hegemony.

Posted by: Richard C | Mar 17 2018 22:57 utc | 33

It is propaganda against a enemy. The real task is to combine Salisbury and Assad chemicals in preparation for a missile attack on Assad. Macron,Halley and now May combined with Trump and Netanyahu will strike Syria. However the Russian record now states that the 'missiles and their launch sites' will be retaliated /destroyed. Russian chief of staff General Gerasimov. This is UNBELIEVABLE!

Posted by: col from oz | Mar 17 2018 22:59 utc | 34

I just don't see any longer how any false flag chemical attack can be taken seriously in Syria; not after the recent video released from E. Ghouta showing the well equipped facility "rebels" were using to manufacture such things. Further, information from that video said equipment originated from the United States who delivered it to Saudi Arabia ( plausible deniability ? one step removed. ) This equipment with evidence of where it was manufactured needs to be made public via the UN. That would further put a damper on subsequent attempts. But with NATO essentially now on the ground in Syria they can easily manufacture other pretext.

Posted by: che | Mar 17 2018 23:19 utc | 35

Perhaps the links of VK that should show superb British cartoons are incompletely swiped, try this:
If you like it, you can search for other recent stuff. Indeed, cartoons in The Guardian are not in the hands of "Blair brigade".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 18 2018 0:32 utc | 36

Yes, champagne satire. Bravo.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Mar 18 2018 1:18 utc | 37

Richard C - further to your comments

Steve Bell frequently develops themes for people in his cartoon - for example, John Major was often shown with his shirts openly tucked into his underpants (rather gauche behaviour) while David Cameron was often drawn with a tipped condom on his head (dickhead?). If you search Google on Steve Bell Theresa May, then you will see she quite often appears as the harlequin character in this cartoon but she is drawn with the facial characteristics of Margaret Thatcher but wearing the fake leopard-skin kitten heals Theresa May wore to a Conservative party conference some years ago, suggesting that Theresa May is Margaret Thatcher MkII. Steve Bell, I believe, hated Margaret Thatcher with a vengeance.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 18 2018 1:40 utc | 38

Richard C 31,33 - Good overview of satirical intent.

I might add:
1) UK depicted as a minnow floating in space whilst Russia shown as a huge power in a global context who has drawn blood when attacked (Georgia, Chechnya)
2) PM May shown as a composite of a witch and Boris Johnson both dressed up in a court jesters outfit signifying their idiocy
3) Riding the vacuum cleaner shows their main purpose - dirty money
4) The red, white and blue featherduster has specific connotations in english slang in regard to fighting - showing weakness
5) And finally the superb heading "over the top" a deliberately sublime double play on words. a) meaning UK is "out of order" in its behaviour and b)a direct reference to WW1 futility of attacking the enemy by exiting the trenches which meant almost certain death either from enemy fire or from your own side if not complying with orders.

All in all a great piece of artwork showing many elements of the current crisis engineered by UK perfidy.

Posted by: m | Mar 18 2018 1:57 utc | 39

love those tentacles--
from General Votel's (commander CENTCOM) congressional testimony Feb 27:
"Iran has extended its tentacles across the region through numerous proxies, including Lebanese Hizballah operating in multiple countries, hardline Iranian-backed Shia Militia Groups (SMGs) in Iraq and Syria, and Iranian support has enabled the Houthis."

What these tentacle-promoting losers don't have is testicles.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 18 2018 2:10 utc | 40

thank you finally we see the real putin as the octo pussed
salsbury gas gas gas
rothschild estate helicopter boston brakes chopper drop from 666 feet up down side down
tv presenter jim bowen of show bullseye on the same day double duf duf hit along with stephen hawkings actor behind the black holes
floaters and masonic sinkers and also death seaside funny man friend of the tavistock beatles ken doddy.
the massacre of ken dodd and his diddy men must have been possibly perped by putins.
these deaths must be avenged by gayman daniel craig and dame judy stench with adele doing the soundtrack

it is time for putin to feel the power of westminster paedo

Posted by: simeon | Mar 18 2018 2:45 utc | 41

Do we have an example here of international misunderstanding of political cartoonist snark/derision? I followed b's description but am now confused by explanations like that of commenter m above

I am going to provide the following link that is OT because it is news and pertinent to the crazy we live that seems to be increasing.

Trump Asked Saudi King For $4 Billion So US Troops Can Leave Syria

The take away quotes
The Washington Post has revealed that President Trump attempted to extricate US troops from Syria by asking ally Saudi Arabia to foot the bill for postwar reconstruction and "stabilization" projects in the area of northeast Syria currently occupied by US coalition forces, to the tune of $4 billion. The deal would involve US allies like Saudi Arabia moving into a lead position regarding coalition policy in Syria, while hastening a US exit.
The more simple translation of Trump's message to the Saudis seems to be something like this: "Our occupation of Syria is costly. If you don't want Assad and Iran to regain the whole country, then you're invited to take over the occupation yourselves."
Judging by Trump's recent maneuvers with the Saudis and CENTCOM chief Votel's congressional testimony, it appears we are in for more long, painful mission creep and perpetuation of the illegal occupation of Syria with no end in sight.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 18 2018 2:49 utc | 42

An important point to consider is that b has taken the several criticisms on board and published them. Unlike the Guardian.

Posted by: Cortes | Mar 18 2018 3:11 utc | 43

from the Economist
. . .It is futile to speculate how much Russia’s efforts succeeded in altering the outcomes of votes and poisoning politics. The answer is unknowable. . .here

What did "the Russians" do?
> the Russians managed botnets and false profiles, earning millions of retweets and likes. . .Nobody yet knows how the outrage they generate changes politics (and there is no outrage)
>the Russia campaign did not create divisions in America so much as hold up a warped mirror to them. (hate those warped mirrors)
>The most important lesson is that the Western response has been woefully weak . . Mr. Trump. . .should have spoken out against Mr Putin and protected America against Russian hostility.
>For democracy to thrive, Western leaders need to find a way to regain the confidence of voters.
> Just now, with Mr Trump obsessively blaming the FBI and Democrats, it looks as if America does not believe democracy is worth fighting for.

Half the US eligible voters (including me) didn't vote in the presidential because both candidates sucked. Why should we blame Russia for that?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 18 2018 3:27 utc | 44

Good comparisons. But the intrepetation is off. Nazi propaganda was not explicitly anti-Russian. They believed the Jews took over the Bolshevik movement and were controlling the Soviet Union. After awhle, Jews/Russians became thought of as one entity essentially. However, the propaganda started with anti-semitic propaganda and moved on from there. So when a German soldier from the war talks about fighting the Bolsheviks, what they mean is they are fighting the Jews.

Posted by: Erelis | Mar 18 2018 3:29 utc | 45

@ 44
For democracy to thrive, Western leaders need to find a way to regain the confidence of voters.
from William J. Astore --
Faith in institutions undergirds democracy. Keeping the people deliberately demobilized and in the dark about the costs and carnage of America’s wars follows a pattern of governmental lying and deceit that stretches from the Vietnam War to the Iraq Wars of 1991 and 2003, to military operations in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere today. Systemic lies and the phony war that goes with them continue to contribute to a slow-motion process of political and social disintegration that could result in a much grimmer future for this country: perhaps an authoritarian one; certainly, a more chaotic and less democratic one.. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 18 2018 3:50 utc | 46

The idea that Bell is engaging in satire is bullshit--there are only two choices--either he is replicating Nazi propaganda or he is an incompetent artist. Defoe's "Shorest Way with Dissenters" is considered a master piece of subtle satire. But many critics have said that Defoe failed as there are no clues that he is indeed doing satire such as the great Swift did. As one critic said, Swift gives you an elbow to the chest to let you know he is not serious about say eating babies. There is no such elbow in the diagram by Bell. It faithfully replicates real murderous Nazi propaganda imagery. The clown imagery at the bottom left could just has well be attacking May as incompetent to handle Putin.

As for Bell's history. So what. Major progressive figures in the United States have bought into the world wide Russian conspiracy with a vengence (which itself mimics the Nazi claime a Jewish conspiracy to take down all of Europe--not just Germany. )

Posted by: Erelis | Mar 18 2018 3:52 utc | 47

It looks like London has become stinky cesspool of human refuse imported from all over the world and May became bitch brewing all the filth and abomination into British soup of a day served cold and dead as she already is.

It is clear that money or rather greed fuels artistic impotence and as always motivate to steal.

Posted by: Kalen | Mar 18 2018 3:55 utc | 48

Oh, another note about Nazi propaganda against the Jews. The Nazis used a number of animals to explicate the universal world wide Jewish conspiracy. Spiders and octupus were amolng the more popular. Here is a Nazi graphic showing the the nature of the Jewish conspiracy using an octupus. Cone can easily find matching imagery of Putin with imagery of the Nazis once one understands the thematic Nazi images.

Posted by: Erelis | Mar 18 2018 4:02 utc | 49

@44 Don

Good post. Agree with the mirror-bit. You nailed it. Although me living in a coastal-elite enclave like Portland, OR, I had to vote Trump. To do otherwise, would have been unconscionable and a passive yield to the mind-controlled politics of our fair blue state.

We need to win back the youth from the phenomenon of neoliberal intervensionism (i.e. let us fix, heal, and remake the world in our own image). This is otherwise popularly known as nationalism, but so many think that is a dirty word and even Putin plays semantics to his countrymen when he says "Patriotism" is different than nationalism. Oh really, how is preferring the wellbeing of your own balanced economy a transcendent patriotism? Just seems smart and self-sustaining to me and the success of this further fuels national pride. But I digress... The youth are too won over by the prospect of making a difference for posterity, whether through yielding to the junk science of climate change (I am not throwing that in to troll...but if you can't see the Bill Nye-level of arrogance in today's youth, then you are really disconnected; parroting paid sophists/scientists who are quoted in doomsday articles in the Wa. Po. is an essential tactic of recruiting youth, so please let that opinion pass over you with some thought and not immediate reactionary accusations) or believing that their stupid opinion on population control is "helping." The democrats have been the party of optics and have won them over to the detriment of us all. Who can blame the youth, though? Either emulate their high school social studies or english teacher, or look to their weird, financial-planner uncle. Not much of a choice. Damn rock'n roll!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 18 2018 4:11 utc | 50

Posted by: VK | Mar 17, 2018 6:49:55 PM | 32

"The West still worships freedom of the arts. This is an inheritance from the Cold War era, where the cultural front was particularly fierce, and the arts were elevated to the status of the maximum expression of the atomized individual (i.e. individual freedom, freedom of enterprise)."

I could not disagree more. A couple of threads back Daniel asked about the CiA funded "Congress for Cultural Freedom". By the time I saw his post a day had passed, people appeared to have grazed on to the next outrage de jour and just by asking Daniel revealed he was on to it anyhow.
There is a brief Independent article about the CFCF which reveals56 by the later 1950's the western fad for absrtact expressionism was anything but driven by individual freedom and was in fact promoted as a type of groupthink which was fiercely protective of visual arts bereft of meaning to the point where any representational artist was driven out of business for being 'too unhip'. The amerikan government deliberately set about subsidising & fostering art which avoided the type of hard questioning internal societal critiquing which had previously been the impetus behind 20th century art. As well as making it impossible for an artist using dialectic to sell his/her work, this beginning of amerikan philistinism in the arts wasted energy on mindless debates - idiocies such as how 'flat' a picture was.
There were one or two talented expressionists using the form to promote inquiry, in particular McCahon who comes to mind, but McCahon's genius was ignored until long after he was dead, garnering slight attention until the immediate post-cold war period.
Have no doubt the same is happening today. In the UK someone such as Banksie gets by because he has worked hard to de-commodify his art, if he had been forced to rely on the RA/elite gallery control nexus which kept england in a visual arts cultural desert between JMW Turner and Banksie, he and his collective would have disappeared without trace.
The CFCF may have enriched Pollock, Rauschenberg and a few others but just as establishment control destroyed englander visual art, amerikan art has been reduced to a parody of itself by the so-called 'deep state' assuming the role of cultural arbiter.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 18 2018 4:14 utc | 51

Speaking of UK Money:

The Spider's Web – An investigation into the world of Britain’s secrecy jurisdictions and the City of London.

The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire, is a documentary film that shows how Britain transformed from a colonial power into a global financial power. At the demise of empire, City of London financial interests created a web of offshore secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and hid it behind obscure financial structures in a web of offshore islands. Today, up to half of global offshore wealth may be hidden in British offshore jurisdictions and Britain and its offshore jurisdictions are the largest global players in the world of international finance. How did this come about, and what impact does it have on the world today? This is what the Spider’s Web sets out to investigate.

With contributions from leading experts, academics, former insiders and campaigners for social justice, the use of stylized b-roll and archive footage, the Spider’s Web reveals how in the world of international finance, corruption and secrecy have prevailed over regulation and transparency, and the UK is right at the heart of this.

Beware o Ides of March, especially freemasonic 322. Read Myron Fagan's warning...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 18 2018 4:23 utc | 52

col from oz 32
Many historians feel that had England signaled clearly to Germany in 1914 that there was a line not to be crossed and if crossed that would mean , not a localized European war but a world war, Germany would not have risked World War One .
In the event the English did not signal this clearly to the Germans .

I am sure the Russians being good historians have flagged clearly to the West that there is a moment of potential major conflagration in present events . They would be keenly aware of my opening comment .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Mar 18 2018 5:22 utc | 53

The 'Octopus' refers to a vast criminal organization still in existense and directly or indirectly controlling perhaps half the wealth on planet Earth. Arising from the first complete intelligence network and fully consolidated by the Republic of Venice during the early part of the 16th century, it eventually found it's way to the City of London, via Germany, France and the Dutch Republic, where it is now based. A segment of the British elite today still refer to themselves as 'Venetians.'

The Octopus has been involved in every major geopolitical event of the last 700 or more years, including promotion of the Black Plague via cutting off lending and thus deepening an economic crisis and social catastrophe many times worse than what occurred during the Great Depression, another of their projects, making possible the fall of Byzantium via direct sponsership of invasion by Ottoman Turks, manufacture of the cult of Sabbatai Tzvi in the 17th century on which the ethos of Nazism, Bolshevism and Zionism are based, thereafter leading to the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and founding of Israel, initiation of the Reformation by their agent Martin Luther, complete organization of the world wars of the 20th century, and more recently the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Below is a good description of the origins of the organization now competing for control of the world against what might be considered national-sovereigntist and militarist faction, with loyalties cutting across political jurisdictions and institutions, including the least worst opponent of the Octopus the government of Russia and allied to the White House Junta of McMaster, Kelly and Mattis, and despite considerable misdirection, likely including former CIA Director and soon to be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

You can start your investigation here:

The Spy Chiefs of Renaissance Venice: Intelligence Leadership in the Early Modern World

Posted by: C I eh? | Mar 18 2018 7:30 utc | 54

Erelis - 45, 47,49

Completely disagree with your ideas and don't see any correlation with your ideas in the cartoon.

I have no doubt the cartoonist used the original work (by bastardry) as a means to get past the issue of getting his work published in the first place.
a) The original works would be free access and out of copyright
b) knowing how shallow the gatekeepers are, the main thrust of the imagery shows 'bloodthirsty Russia spreading its global tentacles' - just what is required in the present circumstances. The real messages from the cartoonist are in all the nuances from the heading and lesser images

Posted by: m | Mar 18 2018 8:54 utc | 55

The caption of the Bell cartoon 'Over the top' is a bit of a giveaway - plus it is also a nice double entendre.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 18 2018 9:29 utc | 56

Some here are celebrating the double meaning of Bell's cartoon. There is no double meaning, and both are wrong. Bell wants to hint that the British establishment is on par with the Nazis, who demonized the USSR. This is bogus, because the Nazis were angels compared to the British establishment, and were correct to warn about the USSR.

Also, of course, the British are wrong about Putin's threat to the world.

Posted by: Depth Charge | Mar 18 2018 9:35 utc | 57

France has ordered journos NOT to go to Syria anymore. They don't want them to report on the liberation of the Ghouta and the chemical findings there or they may even be afraid of some arrests in connection to the role of some French media (starting with Le Monde) in some of the operations?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 18 2018 10:27 utc | 58

French gov radios report the evacuation of the Ghouta by civilians as "fleeing the bombings", no ref to corridors, agreement etc.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 18 2018 10:54 utc | 59

With the death of the beloved comedian, Ken Dodd, there is now a vacancy for Bojo.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Mar 18 2018 11:00 utc | 60

Bell is mocking anti-Russian hysteria.

Posted by: ThereisaGod | Mar 18 2018 11:14 utc | 61

I think the intention of Steve Bell's cartoon is the opposite of the way you have inerpreted it.
The butt of the joke here is Theresa May for being hysterical about Russia by depicting it as a sinister spider while sitting on a vacuum cleaner which refers to London money laundering profits.

Posted by: mathias alexander | Mar 18 2018 11:15 utc | 62

as far as i know the first use of, according to marine scientists, intelligent creature - octopus is of the US origin (where else) An use in propagandistic and demonization purpose of that branch (a sect) of the Christianity. A humans quite frequently its lowest instincts compare with an animals without any justification.

While there are some evidences (or rather fairy tales) of the propaganda with Alexander the Great and the Peloponnese's Wars the first documented ones were with where joint-venture effort of French King and the Pope brought annihilation of the King Templar order.

Otherwise, the whole narrative described in previous B's text as well as this one is hallmark of the US politics

Posted by: partisan | Mar 18 2018 11:53 utc | 63

The claim here, especially from Brits, is that the Steve Bell cartoon is so sophisticated that it can not be possibly reminiscent of Nazi propaganda and aimed at Putin. It reminds of the French intellectuals who defend the obvious racism in Charlie Hebdo cartoons as satire.

How many seeing the Steve Bell cartoon will, unconsciously or not, be negatively conditioned by the "Putin-octopus" picture? How many people will recognize its 'deeper' "over the top" meaning? The ratio is like 100 to 1.

The Guardian loves to use such subliminal propaganda.

Just see this headline today:
Vlad the improver still first election choice for Putin generations

The short forms of Vladimir are Volodya, Vova or Vovochka. Vlad is a diminutive of Vladislav. Russia’s President is Vladimir Putin, not Vladislav Putin.

The Guardian editors surely know this. But they use "Vlad the Improver" in their headline to associate Putin with "Vald the Impaler" - a historic Russian figure (falsely) associated in the "west" with utter cruelty.

Some people will love the headline for its "sophistication". But it is, like the Bell cartoon, anti-Russian propaganda on a deeply fascist level.

Posted by: b | Mar 18 2018 12:41 utc | 64

'The Economist' was always good on ideological caricatures and points of view ... Not giving names of journalists is a good honest way to show/admit that you do not really have journalist - today normal for the whole Western Media - but just a simple cop/paste Reuters/AP etc... articles.

The economist is quite conscious who his readers are: people who want to show their insolvent in 'business' by showing of in the underground/train/plain , well, all the public places that they have to do something with 'Economy' ... they are mostly blunt j'uppies' and people who do like the format and short articles which confirm who is the good sand right and confuse the 'slabby' content with humor and feel ing superior to 'somebody by reading infantile articles with the cover ^THE ECONOMIST'
congrats for the constant idiocratic nonsense you publish under the format of an in-flight magazine!

Posted by: marc ziegler | Mar 18 2018 13:25 utc | 65

"Revealed: how Associated Press cooperated with the Nazis"

"German historian shows how news agency retained access in 1930s by promising not to undermine strength of Hitler regime"

Some things have never changed, ah yes, there is new puppet-master. Jews doesn't poison our wells and had not caused Black Death anymore this time are a Muslims. A New Nazi regime from Washington (with its affiliates) in its impotency and powerless shift focus to the Russians but only what they can do is to barking at them.

Posted by: partisan | Mar 18 2018 13:27 utc | 66

I am glad to say Peter Hitchen of the Sunday Mail remains out of step and to some extent so do Simon Jenkins of the Guardian and Robert Fisk of the Indy. The rest are a bunch of "Supine Invertebrate Protoplasmic Jellies", to use a phrase much favoured by Bojo.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Mar 18 2018 15:33 utc | 67

I would have been quite happy with b's interpretation of the cartoon, except for the puzzling depiction of Ms May Lost In Space astride a Made In UK money-laundering machine. Her inclusion in the cartoon introduces sufficient ambiguity to put the Octo-Putin image in an hilariously different light. There are so many elements in it that there's probably no "pure" interpretation.
Inspired by remarks made by: m | Mar 17, 2018 9:57:13 PM | 39, here's mine.

Octo-Putin is not only on top of the world, he's got a very firm grip on it. Ms May, who is clearly not a nice person and until very recently was lost in space, in a world of her own, is furiously paddling back to Earth with a feather duster which, if/when she makes it back to Earth, she'll use to dislodge Octo-Putin.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 18 2018 15:37 utc | 68

I would have been quite happy with b's interpretation of the cartoon, except for the puzzling depiction of Ms May Lost In Space astride a Made In UK money-laundering machine. Her inclusion in the cartoon introduces sufficient ambiguity to put the Octo-Putin image in an hilariously different light. There are so many elements in it that there's probably no "pure" interpretation.
Inspired by remarks made by: m | Mar 17, 2018 9:57:13 PM | 39, here's mine.

Octo-Putin is not only on top of the world, he's got a very firm grip on it. Ms May, who is clearly not a nice person and until very recently was lost in space, in a world of her own, is furiously paddling back to Earth with a feather duster which, if/when she makes it back to Earth, she'll use to dislodge Octo-Putin.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 18 2018 15:40 utc | 69

Apologies for the double post.
I thought my computer had gone to sleep, or was ignoring me.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 18 2018 15:46 utc | 70

Well,I've got my t-shirt,with Putin on it.From Russia with love.
Pollack was a no-show,from no talent what so ever,but he didn't make money,his heirs?did.He died.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 18 2018 16:23 utc | 71

Vlad the Impaler was not Russian but Romanian.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 18 2018 16:38 utc | 72

Maybe the caricaturist should step in and explain what he really wanted to say by this work.
But nevertheless, since the beauty is in the eye of beholder we all have right to interpret the artwork the way we feel about it.
IMO, the author both demonized Russia and mocked Britain in that picture. Quite nasty.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 18 2018 17:07 utc | 73

about World Cup. (see above)

The PTB don’t give a f*** about the World Cup. Those who organise it and make tons of money, are merely tolerated hangers-on. FIFA have been so arrogant, corrupt, careless and freaking-all-out delusional, caught up in their global scams (see FIFA scandals in the last ten years) the PTB is ready to junk them.

Yet... World sports events serve a purpose, one can manipulate perception of a country / etc. through the play-out of these global ‘sport’ events. Russia for ex. did its utmost to play in that field (sic), attain some kind of recognition, see Sotchi, now World Cup, other past events.

The W can *easily* deprive Russia of a role in Int'l sports, with accusations of doping, drugs, high jinks of x-kind, corrupt finance or whatever, etc., even sabotage is easy to implement, as very local / minor, who is to investigate, find anything.

The aim is to paint Russia a ‘cheater’, ‘faker’, thus booted from the world stage of the glorious, accepted as ‘fair’ realm of international sports competitions. Not worthy of a slot amongst other nations who valiantly, honestly compete on a level playing field with ‘vetted rules and judges’ in awe-inspiring, healthy, sane, glorification of human performance, to the Stars!

A country / group that doesn’t accept such rules or ‘spirit’ must be so rotten and imbued with unimaginable evil, the only reaction from the sane can be, repulsion, fear, then exclusion.

Once excluded the demonstration is made. That speaks very loud to all kinds of ppl, amazing really - billions of ppl follow sports and believe the TV.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 18 2018 17:35 utc | 74

Apparently, all the self-proclaimed leftists that regularly read the Guardian and the Economist, all because both are widely regarded as “left-of-center” publications, I suppose, are too clueless to understand that Putin is anything but a hegemonic bankster imperialist. If anything, he is the antithesis of these predatory globalist crooks. If anything, the Rothschilds and the World want to marginalize, if not assassinate Putin, not embrace him as one of their fellow hegemonic banksters.

Therefore, it’s perhaps more accurate to depict one of the living Rothschilds as the head of Goebbels’ eight-armed octopus (or eight-legged spider) stretched across the globe sucking the life out of all who inhabited it. Depicting Vladimir Putin as one of these bloodsucking monsters is anything but accurate, in fact, it’s flat out wrong. If the Guardian’s and the Economist’s left-leaning readership had no trouble understanding why one of their fellow leftist, Matt Taibbi, a little under a decade ago, accurately depicted Goldman Sachs as the Great Vampire Squid “wrapping itself around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” then they should have no trouble at all understanding that the Guardian and the Economist got it totally wrong about Vladimir Putin being a Rothschild oligarchical octopus. If anyone deserves to have his face drawn on the head of this monstrous octopus it is Lloyd Blankfein, not Vladimir Putin.

Either that, or the Guardian and the Economist have flat out lied to their gullible leftist readers, which is most likely the case. Needless to say, these leftists wouldn’t fall for this lie if they could first understand that the Guardian and the Economist are neoliberal publications, not leftist publications. And like all bought-and-paid-for neoliberals, think Hillary Clinton, they are paid to push this neoliberal, anti-Russian lie that Vladmir Putin is the evil and diabolical Master of the Universe, when in fact, their neoliberal oligarchical paymasters, the Rothschild octopus/spider and the Goldman Vampire Squid, are the evil and diabolical co-Masters of the Universe.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 18 2018 18:06 utc | 75

b -64

An interesting and thought-provoking discussion on this topic. I think you are 100% correct re the guardian but wrong to denigrate the cartoonist.

a)to get published (and paid)in the msm you are working to a loose brief. The central image of 'Putin spider' achieves this goal for the artist. (Case in point - I believe the work Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett have done in Syria is a true reflection of what has been happening there. However, i have yet to come across a single msm outlet that will publish their work.)

b) The guardian editors know the main image is the focal point of the cartoon and will be the negative takeaway by not 99 in 100 readers but more like 999 out of 1000.

c) Does this mean the artist is in collusion with his paymasters? Well yes and no - he has to eat. But why add the other images and title then with all the nuances for those who can interpret them - why not just leave them out, he will still get paid.

d)Does his bastardry of nazi propaganda images follow through in the completed cartoon? I say no but that is only my opinion just as you have yours.

e)a review of the artists previous works would I believe tend to support my view

f)In all honesty probably 999 out of 1000 current guardian readers wouldn't have a clue about Goebbels or nazism that's ancient history for them - which is because their main body of intelligent readers have been leaving them in droves - hence the reason to resort to begging in their editorials.

In summary I propose that in the same way you might classify me as the 1 in 100 who see the cartoon and recognize its 'deeper' "over the top" meaning? i might also classify your good self as the 1 in 100 who would recognize the cartoonist's objective as being about producing anti-Russian propaganda on a deeply fascist level.

Posted by: m | Mar 18 2018 18:52 utc | 76

Steve Bell may be "leftist" in his political views and highly critical of Theresa May's competence and policies - but really, how many people in Britain actually do trust May as a leader and her Cabinet as capable and competent? Do most people in the UK really consider BoJo the Klown as a trustworthy Foreign Secretary?

All that the cartoon is saying is that the current British government is a bunch of corrupt money-laundering buffoons ill-equipped to take on a more powerful and hostile force. I doubt that not many ordinary people in the UK would disagree with Bell's view of Theresa May and her Bullingdon Club Bullies. But the portrayal of Russia in the cartoon, based on a long-standing tradition of portraying one's enemies as octopoid or arachnid villains, is not only unnecessary and irrelevant to what Bell wants to say but is inflammatory as well. B is right to call the cartoon for what it ends up saying.

Bell could have made the same point without portraying Putin as a bloodsucking neo-Communist beast.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 18 2018 20:33 utc | 77

In fact Bell appears to me to be portraying his bosses in the media as Nazi propagandists and the UK government as, like Hitler, attempting to distract the masses from political action into fear and hatred of the foreigner.
The last people to sell out when a newspaper is doing so is often the cartoonist who can hide behind his court jester role and the license allowed 'artists.'
I could be wrong, b could be right. I expect that he would rather that he were wrong on this call. I am certainly happier thinking that Bell, like most sensible people, is with us on this matter. And is 'having a go' as they say in England at the pompous and humourless prostitutes who now edit The Guardian.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 18 2018 21:41 utc | 78

Why did Bell paint the red star on Putin's forehead? This was not necessary if he just wanted to demonize him. The red star is a clear intentional reference to the Nazi cartoon and supports the satirical/sarcastic interpretation some have forwarded here. The equation Nazi propaganda=May propaganda is staring in the faces of those who know the Nazi cartoon, and some won't like it.

Of course, if you don't know the Nazi cartoon, you miss this equation. So is it worth to make government propaganda on the surface and send subtle subversive messages? I think yes if the only way to send these messages is to play along on the surface.

Posted by: mk | Mar 18 2018 22:13 utc | 79

Is there a precedent to this cartoon-like image of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn?

Seems like red Russia is dawning over Britain led by 'enemy-aligned' Corbyn.

It was the backdrop for the UK state media BBC's (supposedly 'impartial') flagship news debate show the other night, and ties in with much of the corporate media, and pollies even in his own party, attacking Corbyn for not jumping on board with T May's (pre-planned) anti-Russia strategy.

Posted by: mkn | Mar 19 2018 0:09 utc | 80

Posted by: bevin | Mar 18, 2018 5:41:42 PM | 78
Posted by: mk | Mar 18, 2018 6:13:01 PM | 79
One way to test the strength of these kinds of arguments is to substitute content by keeping the form.
Imagine that there is, instead of large image of Russophobia, a large homophobic or antisemitic image.
You perhaps may need to substitute the second, small image too, that is, of an incompetent clown pathetically trying to fight the menace, to better fit the new monster.
So, in that case, would you perceive the cartoon as satire (pointed towards a little clown), or as hatred and bigotry (pointed towards the huge monster)?
I would say, if you will still see the satire, you are one in a million, erm 2 in a million. :-D

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 19 2018 1:59 utc | 81

Bell should be ashamed of himself.

Posted by: John G | Mar 19 2018 3:41 utc | 82

Here's another cartoon of Steve Bell

And again, the question is: ist Putin the central subject of the cartoon - or the way the May government likes to paint him, as a mystic evil entity? I think it's the latter.

Posted by: mk | Mar 19 2018 6:11 utc | 83

Well done. Exploring the goals of satire for a moment.
What is the aim of satire? There are several ways to
answer that question and some of them are not mutually

Since the Greek high culture predates the Roman Empire,
the Latin version of 'satira' that made it into the
European language pool was not the origin of satire,
but the adoption of the Greek roots of it.

As it gets increasingly harder to find truthful
information on the interwebs in regards to history
- one is left to wonder that the wording for the
explanations of any subject's etymology is exactly
the same - the explanation is likely better extracted
from previous generations and ages.

A Satyr was a literary version of the God Pan - the
God of the Fauna and Flora, the protector of Nature.
Pan was later utilized to depict the devil in
christian mythology. Those who enjoy Shakespeare will
also know about the nature of Pan - the nature of

The evolving Satyrs were referenced as half man,
half goat beings, and thus men with animalistic
character. They were generally running around with
erect body parts. One must dive into the depth of
this mythology to arrive at the literal art form
of modern satire, that can still be happening on
a traditional stage play, or being condensed in
an image.

Whether something is satire or not, is not so much
due to the observer, but to the observed. Satire
is like a labyrinth, elusive as the original Satyrs.
It is therefore extremely difficult to interpret
satire - at best it creates differing meanings in
each observer, at worst it creates misunderstanding
for the lot of it.

One hallmark of satire is ridicule. Ridicule in
itself is a double edged sword. It cuts both ways.
The creator, or 'perceiver' of anything worth ridiculing
might be either too subtle, or too bold. In both
cases the meaning would be lost.

To look at the above imagery, a number of points come
to mind.

A) It is already satire to transport historic propaganda
into the present to allege that, whatever viewpoint
was behind the original propaganda has clearly not
evolved. Like the creation and demonization of an

B) The ridicule of a way of thinking or viewing requires
a bold picture or play to achieve any reconsideration
of a mindset/viewpoint.

C) Due to times in which the satirist could have faced
certain death for ridiculing the powers that were,
a great deal needed to be extended to the composition.
In the best case, it will be impossible to pinpoint
the deeper meaning beyond a laugh. Satire is a way
to make people laugh about their own viewpoint.
A few modern stand up comedians knew how to play that
lute. George Carlin was one of them.

D) The goal of ridicule is to de-legitimize the subject
of such ridicule. In the heyday of political satire,
regimes cared to ridicule the leaders of the enemy
nation to depict them insane, inept, or plain stupid.
Not to be taken for serious for sure.

Therefore the difference between propaganda and satire
has to be obvious. If it isn't, the satire risks to be
seen as propaganda.
It is more difficult to sell propaganda as satire,
since satire requires to possess a certain mindset to
decode it. One could say that satire is not for the
lesser mentally gifted. Although propaganda exploiting
this fact will aim at exactly these masses and be
looked through by intellectually seasoned minds.

To conclude, the fascist 'Economist' cover page is
propaganda, attempting to exploit the same sentiment/
fears as the Nazi propaganda does. Both are void of
the truth and excellent examples of fear mongering
to manufacture consent to go to war.

The Guardian cover by the satirist is extremely complex
and contains a large number of triggers. As stated by
others, the peruse of Nazi propaganda can already be
seen as satire, while if used in the same spirit, it
will not be able to convince people based on their
memories as to where this propaganda led those who fell
for it.

That would be akin to watch the "Wochenschau" and to
believe the propaganda it emanated weeks before the total
destruction of Germany.

The association of Russia in its personification with
Putin as a spider is also aimed at the characteristics
of such a spider. Any entomologist knows about the myriad
varieties of spiders. For most women they are unbearable.
As Russia/Putin is a webless spider, it can quickly run
around on the planet and bite anybody. How scary!

The introduction of the UK clown cart depicted as a
vacuum cleaner riding witch clown and her details brings
into the mix a dynamic that does offset the dangers of the
spider. The vacuum cleaner bears the face of Thomas the
Locomotive and alleges the train that the witch is riding.
The hairdo is definitely the one of BJ, so it's a perfect
clown car - not to be taken serious in any way. As to the
duster, those colors are the colors of France and what better
way to use the French to squish the spider? On a long stick,
the spider can be dealt with without getting into personal

At that, this exact piece would have also worked in the time
leading up to WW II. It was the same Western values Nations
that pushed Germany at the spider. The duster would be red,
gold and black instead. The long nose is characteristic for

At least in a small circle of people, this cover created a
thorough discussion and that's also what satire is meant to
achieve - conversations about the topic. It succeeded in doing
that, while the cover of 'The Fascist' is simply a projection
of its own degenerated content. On top of it, it is a
psychological projection par excellence, of the highest order.

Al this is to be taken with some grains of humor, but it is not
intended to take away from the severity of the Western values
regimes' determination to repeat the Nazi assault on Russia/
Putin/The Communists/The Bolsheviks/The Slavs/The Sub-Humans...

Posted by: notheonly1 | Mar 19 2018 10:09 utc | 84

Now the "qualitity" of the leading British papers is openly displayed. The only remaining question is: Why do many Brits still buy or perhaps even read these toilet papers? Why don't they start using them for their proper purpose? At last, they are more expensive than normal toilet paper?

Posted by: Michael Skoruppa | Mar 19 2018 12:02 utc | 85

I think the main purpose of this cartoon was to satirize May's position. Which is not to say that the Guardian has not in general become an awful warmongering rag, but I do think Steve Bell is generally pretty good at cutting through the crap.

Posted by: B H | Mar 19 2018 14:16 utc | 86

I made an animated gif from these three pictures. It was fun. It is much shorter than the original very good article and can be presented to people who do not like to read too much.

Posted by: Michael Skoruppa | Mar 19 2018 15:04 utc | 87

The Guardian cartoon draws on Graham Greene's, 'Our Man in Havana', in which a British spy and vacuum cleaner salesman submits a diagram of a new cleaning machine, describing it as a nuclear plant. It's a good read.

The cartoon is very much tongue in cheek.

Posted by: The Hidden Hand | Mar 19 2018 17:34 utc | 88

Speaking of meddling in foreign nations
US stealing Syrian territory which has energy.
Putin do nothing

Posted by: Brad | Mar 19 2018 19:48 utc | 89

Saw his cartoon on RT's Crosstalk where they assumed it was anti-russian propaganda, was unsure myself until seeing the picture of it here. I would agree with others that it's a parody. I know Steve Bell is no idiot, but I do ask myself why he still works for the Guardian..

Posted by: Not-a-bot | Mar 20 2018 17:25 utc | 90

Bell is not an anti-Russian crazy, and his target was definitely Mrs. May and her merry band of warriors (e.g. minister of defense to discovered that "pain, pain, fly away" method can be extended to issues of perceived military imbalance, to bad that they do not translate it into smaller military spending). However, b has a point too, because Bell follows two obnoxious paradigms:

1. If you say something positive about Russia you must temper it with some nasty remark. BTW, any somewhat positive remark about Corbyn must be similarly "put in context", and here is where Bell differs from the writers in The Guardian. (Comic page seems in the hand of "old Trots" who tend to dislike Russia ever since Stalin forced Trotsky into exile and send assassins afterwards, but the hatred between Trots and "New Labour" runs deep.) This is from NYT article about Russian/Putin's economic policy:

"Mr. Putin’s defensive economic mind-set also reflects the desire of the voters who just rubber-stamped his return to power. In a 2015 survey, in which the Levada Center, an independent pollster, asked what issues matter most, the largest share of Russians said “stabilization of the political and economic situation.” Next came “social protection,” job security and “on-time payment of wages and pensions.” Not even 10 percent said “continuation of reform,” encouraging entrepreneurship or any of the bolder moves Russia needs to stir a dormant economy out of its slumber. "

If voters approve satisfying economic priorities of an overwhelming majority with, well, overwhelming majority, then the are guilty of rubber stamping. And they are stupid, valuing getting wages and pensions on time more than obtaining a better mix between large and small enterprises. Too bad that this stupidity spreads in the West as well, leading to "Putinization". By the way of contrast, the young and handsome ruler of KSA gets credit for attempting reforms, while timeliness of wages is quite mediocre.

2. Any argument suggesting that Russia should be treated like "any other country" (e.g. what happens if a murder of, say, a Palestinian waiter in Norway is attributed to Mossad) is couched in terms "surely they are a demonic power, but we should nevertheless strive to see evidence before making a judgement because it is simply good manners".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 20 2018 18:26 utc | 91

Oh come on, gimme a break - the Guardian cartoon is satire.

Posted by: bert | Apr 14 2018 20:59 utc | 92

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