Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 17, 2018

How Putin's Russia Weaponizes X

Q: What do humor, health information, giant squids, robotic cockroaches, tedium and postmodernism have in common?

A: Russia weaponized them.

Back in March 2016 we created a list of news items that accused Russia and its bear riding president Vladimir Putin of weaponizing things.


Others have since copied the idea.

Several of the pieces listed in it are products of the recently uncovered British government financed disinformation campaign, or of similar efforts by other governments. But these are only a part of the general anti-Russian reflex that is ingrained in our 'western' culture. Nothing else can explain the craziness of these 'weaponizing' claims.

The updated list with some 65 issues, ideas and things that Russia allegedly 'weaponizes' will hopefully help to convince people that most of what is said or written about Russia is likewise blatant nonsense.


Posted by b on December 17, 2018 at 14:20 UTC | Permalink

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This is actually dangerous.
This should tell us what a threat all these think tanks pose, they have power, money etc and they have power to spread the lies they write.

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 18 2018 9:03 utc | 101

Out of curiosity, I googled 'Truth as a weapon'. First two off the search results..

"What an interesting philosophical conundrum. John 8:31 states “….and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” This seems so self evident, one might be justified calling it a truism. However, ‘truth’ is a very interesting noun, if for no other reason then it seems to possess two conflicting meanings.
That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
A fact or belief that is accepted as true."

"I make a lot of mistakes, but I rarely make the same mistake twice. It breaks my heart when I see people - regardless of whether I like them or not - fall victim to the same mistakes time and time again.
Looking back, I can confidently say that the worst, most destructive scenarios I’ve seen in business are not created by people who make an honest mistake, but by people who make the same unforced errors over and over again.
Put another way, a single mistake, when addressed with honesty and with transparency, is rarely a death blow. However, when people consistently choose to cover their mistakes with lies, aggression, and swift responses, the results can be catastrophic.

But to Americans and five eyes, Truth seems tobe a powerful weapon which they must fight to the end against.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 18 2018 9:10 utc | 102

Racist ‘Russians’ targeted African-Americans in 2016 election ploy, reports claim

By the social media giants’ own admission, the criteria for labeling posts as “Russian” is so broad as to be practically meaningless. That hasn’t stopped the authors of the two reports, though, who saw President Vladimir Putin’s fingerprints on every keyboard and under every bed. In particular, they argued, the “Russians” sought to depress the 2016 turnout by targeting Black Americans.

How could this nonsense accusations be believed by a majority of people of the world!?

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 18 2018 9:20 utc | 103

Moscow: US Report on Russia's Alleged Election Meddling Causes Misunderstanding

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 18 2018 9:37 utc | 104

A question: does Putin believe in the father in heaven? When I read Oliver Stones interview "Talks with Putin" you could get that impression. Is there someone who know?

Posted by: Kjell Martinsson | Dec 18 2018 9:51 utc | 105

Russia has weaponised trolls.

We feel empowered today across the internet by the official state recognition.

In fact, I just emailed a retrospective of career highlights to HR at the Internet Research Agency. Keeping my fingers crossed they have openings although I realise my broken English needs some work...

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 18 2018 10:14 utc | 106

Kjell Martinsson 105

It is my thought that Putin does believe in the religion of the Russian orthodox church, but perhaps more towards being a sunday Christian. He recognizes all the major religions of Russia.
He also recognises and works with this -
"That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
A fact or belief that is accepted as true."

Fact and reality come with Russian intelligence, of which Putin reads much raw material rather than analysts summaries, and he recognises and he also has to deal with beliefs that are accepted as true.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 18 2018 10:22 utc | 107

james says:

it seems he is suggesting that doing drugs seem to lessen our ingrained and more materialistic approach to life generally

Pollan's talking about psychedelic, or psychotropic drugs specifically, which clearly have a huge potential regarding our understanding of how the mind performs.

the international narcotics markets are a whole other ball of wax, by design, of course...

and don't even get me started on the plight of our alcohol sodden civilizations.

Posted by: john | Dec 18 2018 10:58 utc | 108

so when will they begin weaponizing weapons?

Posted by: someguy | Dec 18 2018 11:24 utc | 109

Target audience: Distracted idiots. You cannot appeal to them with reason. It must get old writing such crap. I think it is best to keep head up and engage in "grown-up" dialog. Seems like a cry for attention.

Posted by: JARED | Dec 18 2018 11:36 utc | 110

> just poke a poppy or a rose in the gun barrel and blow them kiss.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 17, 2018 4:02:17 PM | 56

And now you weaponized opioid pandemic!
You must be another Putin here!!!

Posted by: Arioch | Dec 18 2018 11:36 utc | 111

@ someguy 109

Russian weapons seem to be far more weaponized than US weapons, whose primary function is to serve as the pretext for fat government contracts. Whatever "weapon" value they have, at least in a real fight as opposed to massacring civilians, is a distant second at best.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 18 2018 11:37 utc | 112

Grieved 83
Thanks for RT's take on that. Its pretty much what I read between the lines in the western propaganda version.
I have never particularly liked the sort of music my parents liked. I was more into rock. Rap doesn't even sound like music or singing to me. I quite often wonder if it is simply because I am getting old, but when I ignore the language and listen to the lyrics, it sounds incredibly defeatist.
One aspect of the Russian rapper is that, if quoted correctly in the ABC VOA pieces, he was speaking as if he was an african american from the ghettos of the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 18 2018 11:43 utc | 113

Here's a little more back ground on the 'Oxford Computational Propaganda Project/Graphika' scamola from WSWS:

The second report, “The IRA and Political Polarization in the United States,” published under the imprimatur of Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project, in collaboration with the social media analysis firm Graphika, was likewise authored by figures with deep connections to the state and the military. Graphika staffer Camille Francois, a co-author, served as chief technical officer to the French prime minister and worked at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

In line with the by now well-established playbook, Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the leading advocate of internet censorship in the US Senate, took to the airwaves to proclaim that these “independent” reports were a “wake up call.” He continued: “These attacks against our country were much more comprehensive, calculating and widespread than previously revealed.” He added that “addressing this challenge” was “going to require some much-needed and long-overdue guardrails when it comes to social media.”

Posted by: William Bowles | Dec 18 2018 11:54 utc | 114

Note also thatthere's a whisper, a hint, a single word in the MSM about the Integrity Institute nonsense, clearly a D Notice has been slapped on the MSM.

I also wonder whether the Russkies follow these stories and how do they react/deal with them? It surely can't escape their notice.

Posted by: William Bowles | Dec 18 2018 11:57 utc | 115

If Russia is so capable, that mean rest of the world are idiots.

Posted by: fayez chergui | Dec 18 2018 13:07 utc | 116

William Bowles

It is a psyop distraction, so called russian trolls gets attention and no evidence needs to be presented, that UK fund trolls all over the west (Integrity Initiatve) is not reported at all! Thats the tactic west use to spread propaganda against Russia.

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 18 2018 13:41 utc | 117

many people ask how much putins spends on these 6 million or more projects.
how it is that he has the time to do these things
he is busy his days are full of pig iron output speech and wheat and soya yield figures
what is the costs for all these heinous devilish projects in the millions
how much has he spent defeating nsa,cia,fbi,mossad ,mi5 and 6 and gchq making a mockery of 5 eyes bourne and bond.
it is indeed a miracle.
so what are the solutions shirley it is clear here hare here that the 2 trillion a year funding to keep us safe from russia,assad,irania and china is not enough.
the simple fact is we are to blame we are not fit for porpoise as uk enquiry always say year in and out lessons must be learned.

we need to double the funding for 4 eyes by cancelling 1 eye and injecting the 1 eyed juice into the udder 4s.

it is not cia mi6 mi5 and mossad who are at fault for letting putin run riot and go ape the world over but simply a tax payer issue if we funded these life savers properly putin would be in his boxes.
this worldwide conspiracy is not proof of the ineptitude of are leaders and security apparatus we have not got any flaws in that dept.
it is simply funding cuts.

my suggestion is we should use some of the carbon credit bond profits traded on the stock market which should raise a trillion and ask all lovers of gladio b to demand extra safety taxes be activated.

taxation is the key to stopping these russian bullies

Posted by: nigel | Dec 18 2018 13:55 utc | 118

Worth reading, in this context, is Patrick Armstrong's piece in Strategic Culture on the subject of NATO's "schizophrenia" regarding Russia -- as a sort of Scarlet Pimpernel behind every threat and, simultaneously, as an unravelling state on the brink of failure.
Psychoanalysing NATO: Schizophrenia

His sardonic selection of Western analyses of how Russia is "doomed" is actually hilarious. Clearly a case of Putin's capacity to weaponize the West's capacity for intellectual self-parody. A selection of titles (for the hyperlinks, I encourage you to go to the article directly).

From Armstrong: "
There is a striking schizophrenia among NATO's members: Russia is, at one and the same time, so weak it's "doomed" and so strong that it's demolishing NATOLand.

Russia is forever, eternally, endlessly, doomed. Always on the edge of collapse. (But Russia has always been doomed here’s Time in 1927) and it was altogether finished in 2001. But doom dooms on. Has an ‘open society’ doomed Russia to fail? (September 2012); Russia Is Doomed (March 2014); Why Putin’s Adventure in Ukraine Is Doomed (April 2014); Putin’s Nationalism and Expansion Strategy Is Doomed to Fail (September 2014); Sorry, Putin. Russia’s economy is doomed (December 2014); Remember Russia? It’s still doomed (January 2015); Morgan Stanley thinks Russia’s doomed (February 2015); Secretary of Defense: Russia 'Doomed to Fail' in Syria (September 2015); Is Russia's Economy Doomed to Collapse? (July 2016); Why The Saudi-Russian Oil Agreement Is Doomed To Fail (September 2016); Putin’s Bridge to Crimea Is Doomed to Collapse (January 2017); Russia’s Su-57 Stealth Fighter Is Doomed to Fail (December 2107); The Russian economy looks doomed (March 2018); Russia is doomed to steadily fall behind the rest of the world (August 2018); Why Putin’s 5-100 project is doomed to fail (October 2018). And its soccer team too! Aging and Inexperienced: Why Russia Is Doomed to Fail (June 2018).

You'd think, with all this doom dooming away at Russia, that no one would be much worried about it. Except of course for the risk of getting bits of it spattered on you when it finally crashes down. Said collapse confidently predicted three years ago by Alexander Motyl, who, making his wish the father of his thought, declaimed that Russia might even "disappear":

As the new year begins, both Ukraine and Russia are making steady progress. The difference is that, while Ukraine is slowly, and more or less surely, adopting a raft of systemic reforms that will make it a normal Western market democracy, Russia is becoming a failed state. If current trends continue, as they probably will, Russia may even disappear.
But, amazingly, Russia has become more powerful than ever before. Not even Stalin in his wildest dreams imagined choosing the next US President..."

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 18 2018 15:50 utc | 119


Thanks for the Trump comment. IMHO too, he is smart enough to pull it off.

Posted by: Friar Ockham | Dec 18 2018 15:57 utc | 120

Putin has now weaponised the NY Post!

Posted by: TJ | Dec 18 2018 16:23 utc | 121

WB @115--

My newspaper today reprints one AP and one WaPost BigLie article meant to buttress the ongoing anti-Russia and anti-China narratives without any mention of the massive scoop that the UK's government is behind the publication of a great volume of Fake News/BigLies. BUt the most important item I read before coming here was this Alastair Crooke item arguing that Trump & Co are weaponizing the Trade War such that the global economy will become bifurcated. Crooke's lead-in:

"... the ‘trade war’ is also the first stage to a new arms race between the US & China – albeit of a different genre of arms race. This ‘new generation’ arms-race is all about reaching national superiority in technology over the longer-term, via Quantum Computing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Hypersonic Warplanes, Electronic Vehicles, Robotics, and Cyber-Security."

Note that in every one of those tech realms the Outlaw US Empire lags behind both China and Russia. The Empire's plan to cut off China from acquiring the means to manufacture its own "cutting edge chips" IMO has already failed before it's begun. We shall soon discover if I'm correct.

Meanwhile, Xi's been busy giving a very important address to the CCP; China Daily offers this recap. On the 20th, Putin will hold his annual marathon press conference with a record 1,700+ journalists having requesting credentials. I believe Putin would agree with and echo this statement of Xi's:

"No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people what should or should not be done."

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2018 17:19 utc | 122


"No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people what should or should not be done."

Clearly the irony is lost on Xi.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 18 2018 18:03 utc | 123

@ Robert Snefjella | Dec 17, 2018 10:50:34 PM | 94

Another person of my acquaintance - school teacher - had so imbibed casual propaganda re Putin and Russia that it was a traumatic, startling experience to hear good things said about Russia and Putin.

I know this person-- or, more likely, someone very much like them: a well-regarded teacher and administrator, with extremely conventional progressive-liberal politics.

Speaking of "imbibing": during Christmas, 2016, after fortifying himself with holiday spirits, when Putin's name came up in the conversation he would exclaim "Bare-chested!" and laugh as if this were a joke or witticism. He was obviously influenced by the many, many Internet images (typically photoshopped) of a bare-chested Putin riding various animals.

Another time, when someone brought up the topic of whether Trump was an ally or dupe of Russia/Putin, this acclaimed educator solemnly asserted that there must be something to the allegations that Trump had engaged in heinous, illegal dealings with Russia. His concluding rationale was, "There must be something to it-- why else would Trump be pushing so hard to stop the investigations?"

I put it down to a combination of acute New York Times addiction and alcohol abuse. After all, this would-be member of the intelligentsia's brain cells are only human.

Posted by: Ort | Dec 18 2018 18:53 utc | 124

@124 "....he would exclaim "Bare-chested!" and laugh ..."

He was probably affirming his feminist credentials. Amongst all his other sins Putin is considered macho. Fortunately we have so far been spared the sight of Donald with his shirt off.

Posted by: dh | Dec 18 2018 19:03 utc | 125

@122 Cont'd--

Having read Crooke's essay and Xi's remarks, here's Putin's speech to the annual expanded meeting of the National Defense Board, the point being to see where they intersect. In that regard, here's an important excerpt from Putin's speech:

"Third. Today, seconds can literally make a difference for the success of a single battle or a major operation. It is important to “compress” the decision-making time at all levels – from senior officers to junior commanders.

"For this, we need to improve the management and communications systems, intelligence, and electronic warfare. We need to complete the transition to new standards in data collection, transmission and processing.

"I would stress that digital technologies and artificial intelligence, robotisation, and unmanned systems – all this should be on the qualitative development agenda of our Armed Forces."

And the following provides a vivid example of the massive qualitative differences between how Russia treats its military members versus the treatment doled out by the Outlaw US Empire:

"In addition, I would like to remind you that in October 2019, the monetary allowance for service members would be adjusted for inflation by 4.3 percent. Military pensions will be increased by 6.3 percent.

"The previous board meeting raised the issue of difficulties with employment for service personnel family members as well as lack of available places in kindergartens. Today I would like to hear a report on what has been done since that meeting.

"It is important to continue paying constant attention to these matters. Because it is only by listening carefully to the military’s pressing problems and solving them that we can bolster the social status of defenders of the Motherland. This is how we can enhance the prestige of military service in society." [My Emphasis]

I can't imagine Trump or any Neoliberalcon showing such genuine concern, let alone making it a priority. Putin closes with a discussion on the Outlaw US Empire's ongoing violations of the INF Treaty which it just announced it's leaving. I hope readers will take the time to read his entire address. What follows is Putin calling Bolton's bluff:

"By and large we have everything anyway, but if what they are trying to scare us with happens, we will have to give a fitting reply. As you understand, if we have such air- and sea-based systems, it will not be too difficult to conduct R&D and put them on the ground, if need be.

"However, let me repeat once again that to be effective in general, we must be extremely disciplined. We have everything we need for this and we have enough resources that we are directing to national defence and security."

Note Putin didn't call for more resources thus breaking Russia's discipline on defense spending. The neocon attempt to goad Russia into increasing its defense expenditures at the expense of its overall societal development plan has miserably failed. So, expect the shrillness of the anti-Russia hysteria to climb new heights as the Outlaw US Empire loses yet another battle in the Hybrid Third World War.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2018 22:58 utc | 126

@126 karlof1

That's a very compelling paragraph you conclude with. The empire is very, very far out of its depth in this war, and Russia knows it, and is building this tolerance for the stupidity of the enemy into its protocols, into its software, into its human discipline, and even into the education of its forthcoming artificial intelligence.

Putin is essentially saying: our preparations, long in progress, are now sufficiently complete that we can fight back against an attack from the US and destroy that enemy. What we must do now is to perfect our own discipline so that we do not make this final, ultimate move irresponsibly.

The judoka continues to train right up to the moment of action. And after the moment, the training continues. Perhaps the enemy is still alive, perhaps the enemy is dead. What matters is the training.

If the human world is to end, let it be by the hand of such warriors.


(Thanks for the links by the way, I'll get to them later.)

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 18 2018 23:39 utc | 127

This political cartoon provides excellent closure for my 126.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2018 23:56 utc | 128

I don't think b's headline is mathematically accurate. For instance, to hold true 'x' must be all inclusive, no exceptions. (And it would seem from the comments - bravo - that indeed an exception does not exist. But. I have found an exception.

A wet noodle.

I defy anyone, even the allpowerful Putin, to attempt to weaponize a wet noodle.

Reductio ad absurdum. It cannot be done.

In which case, we can all breathe sighs of accumulative relief. Clothe yourselves in wet noodles, folk, and the Russians will be powerless!

Posted by: juliania | Dec 19 2018 0:31 utc | 129

juliania @129--

How to weaponize a wet noodle: Coat it in poison or just feed it to someone gluten intolerant, assuming it's made from wheat. IMO, a better choice is a dust mote. ;-)

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 19 2018 1:27 utc | 130

In light of the 40th anniversary of Deng's reforms in China, which karlof1 linked to at #122, Adam Garrie has a really good summary of China's recent history, and the great importance that Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew played as a role model for China's great stride forward into the present age:
China Honours Singapore Founder Lee Kuan Yew During Celebrations of Deng Xiaoping’s Reforms

Garrie offers a recap of Mao's redefinition of the western term "Third World", on the shoulders of which thinking Deng himself put together the basket of pragmatic protocols that enabled China to grow rapidly and yet still retain its capital onshore, investing it back into both the national economy and the well-being of the people.

When Deng took office, China's poverty rate was 88%. By his death, it was down to 40%. Today, under Xi, it's down to 2% and will soon be gone entirely. Socialism with Chinese characteristics provides now a compelling model for the future to all those countries who wish to learn from it, as China learned from Singapore.

Garrie makes a superb point when he illustrates that the advance of robotics is not a threat to the workforce of China's managed economy, because all displaced workers will be taken care of and offered retraining to develop more skills. Thus, China has a future, such as no one in the capitalist west can even dream of.

In the west, our ignorance of the true China is vast, and abysmal, colored and smoke-obscured by centuries of imperial propaganda and academic laziness that both continue unabated today. It would pay us to begin to learn. In this regard, Garrie's article is, simply, great.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 19 2018 4:10 utc | 131

@108 john... thanks for reading, acknowledging and sharing your thoughts with me off my post... cheers james

Posted by: james | Dec 19 2018 5:29 utc | 132

... and soon Russia will weaponised X-Mas. The New Year will be next. What will the banker do?

Posted by: Hem Lock | Dec 19 2018 6:20 utc | 133

the image above shirley shows the sickness if putin animal abuser.
bears should be free in the wilderness since the dawn of time it has been so.
the russians because of putin above now treat the mighty bear as cattle.
the bear is symbolic like america and the eagle with freedum the bear is not a donkey mule or horse
why does israel,uk and usa all animal lovers not demand putin stop riding the bear.
by riding barechested putin doubles down with the sickness and makes this sexual
bestial crimes should not be tolerated by non club memembers

Posted by: mene | Dec 19 2018 15:17 utc | 134

But - you can't wear a dust mote, karlof1! To stretch my absurdity beyond its use date [:~)

Thanks for the link on China's recent history, Grieved - 2 percent, that's impressive!

Posted by: juliania | Dec 19 2018 19:09 utc | 135

You forgot how he weaponized the Green Park and environmentalism.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly | Dec 19 2018 22:19 utc | 136

I really cannot stand the big stink the British press is making over whether Corbyn called May stupid? So what! She's a shrew, and that's the best I can think of her.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 20 2018 6:05 utc | 137

Sorry, meant to post the previous on the open thread. My bad.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 20 2018 6:07 utc | 138

Ok ... Putin weaponizes everything from A to Z(ed). However, I choose to look at this from the perspective of the audience. Am I, as part of that audience, conducting anything resembling critical thinking? Am I asking myself, 'does this (news) item make any sense?', 'can I trust the source?' It seems I am not, for I will believe any cock-and-bull story that emanates from official Washedupington, or it's presstitue newz. The reason these stupid stories gain so much traction is entirely due to the absolute gullibility of the american electorate.

You wanna fix your country? Think. Try it, it works.

Posted by: rgl | Dec 21 2018 19:57 utc | 139

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