FLORES: Letter to Readers – Problems in Russian state media, or ‘Why we hope you value FRN’s Independence’

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Dear FRN Readers and Supporters,

We’d like to address an important subject, critically, why it is that FRN holds fiercely to its independence from the Russian media sphere, and why we hope readers will appreciate it.

We also need to be blunt. Russian media outlets like RT and Sputnik are financed wings of Russia’s media-intelligence sphere. That means their reliability needs to be weighed against that fact. While often we will find decent reporting on realities inside the U.S, when it comes to Russia’s own national security issues it should be of no surprise in which way that RT and Sputnik are going to tend. And that’s their right. These are their projects, and they should serve them.

Moreover, when it comes to the U.S’ push to attempt to hold onto global assets, power, and leverage that it is losing, U.S media has engaged in a disinformation campaign against not only the Russian government, but the whole Russian people. This is a form of bigotry, national chauvinism, and perhaps a type of racism. It must be exposed for what it is. Full stop.

Therefore projects like RT and Sputnik have been extremely valuable in terms of allowing global audiences to hear the other side(s) of the argument, the rejoinders, and often – to be fair – these shed more light, not less, than the disinformation stemming from U.S and Atlanticist media.


The Value of Independent Citizen-Media and Journalism in the Age of State and Corporate Domination


FRN is different, however, because we only serve the readership and the public. We receive no assistance from any external NGO’s, governments, corporations, or singular individuals or their institutions. No exceptions.

But truly independent media serves only the public interest, and only the whole truth can be in the public interest. While we can’t claim to have ‘the‘ truth, and certainly not a monopoly on truth – what we can claim is that we do not serve the national security needs of any country, or to construct nationally serving ‘narratives’ out of the truth. We aren’t saying that Russian media engages in lies. But there are truths one can focus on to the detriment of other parts of the picture, and therefore a picture presented can both be free of overt inaccuracies, and yet not accurately depict the whole picture.

It is a philosophical question: is holding back a part of the truth a form of lying? We’ll refrain from making any further judgments here.

We want to reaffirm, reminding readers that FRN is a 100% independent media project.

The daily operation of FRN is 100% based upon reader support. 

We are pleased that countries around the world have started their own media projects, because their lens is an important one. Countries like Iran, Russia, and Venezuela all have a story to tell. We soon hope that more countries will engage in professional English and Spanish language media projects as well, as these are the two most spoken languages in the world.  These are signs of the realized multipolar world, which we have found will increase stability, peace, and development for these peoples in all spheres of life – cultural, economic, personal, academic, collective, social, religious, historical, and civil.


FRN cuts through the Information War Noise

There is a serious phenomenon, of which our parent organization, CSS, has a fair amount of expertise and experience in dealing with. This is known as hybrid warfare, and net-centric warfare, which are factors within the general paradigm of 4th generation warfare (4GW).

Hybrid warfare is nothing new: that is, the information war and the combination of law-fare, diplomacy, and the blurring of the lines of civilian and military combatants has been a reality since the beginning of time. What’s new is how these take place under conditions of 4GW.

In terms of law-fare (warfare by legal suits), diplomacy, and the information war – we must remember that the first casualty of war is the truth.

FRN has an extraordinary ability to understand the mechanisms, thinking, and motivations of Russia’s use of information war.

Russia uses its media to leverage the appearance of more or less support to various other national actors than it really has at the level of official strategy or official policy.

It can use this appearance of support as a power unto-itself – the power of simulacrum creation. Once in the simulacrum, the people of a given country, as well as a strong layer of that country’s elites including military, industry, and intelligence, also will believe that Russia supports its policies and national interests. Once this has been accomplished, Russia is able to perhaps even change the real policy of that country.

A good example of how the U.S itself has been doing this, for many decades in fact, is in Venezuela today. Much of Venezuela’s media is privatized, and subject to foreign, that is U.S, influence. The Organization of American States has the strong influence of the Canadians, and the Anglo-American power also, by way of the City of London. Media throughout Latin America, as well as numerous governments, are under the spell of U.S media. Therefore, when the U.S president, Trump, declared Juan Guaido the ‘president of Venezuela’, there was a decent chance that the simulacrum would ensnare enough important actors. Fortunately because of research and understanding into how this process works, Venezuela has been able to secure its sovereignty from foreign simulacrum creation.

And so by the way, there is a strong relationship between Brexit and the U.S effort on Venezuela.

We owe it to our readers, the only ones who have supported us, not to engage in ‘fan-service’ for Russia’s national-security needs, but to explain what really happened, and what is really going on. It only just so happens to be the case that, by and large, Russia’s role in the multipolar world has been a constructive one.

That doesn’t always mean, however, that Russian media includes all the facts in their description of events. And they may be over-emphasizing their support for other countries, and these may be for reasons far beyond our immediate assumptions.


Pakistan and India

Back when the Russians engaged in their efforts in Syria, to eliminate the FSA and ISIS, FRN-CSS reported at the time that because the U.S was not claiming direct control over FSA and ISIS, that this would allow Russia to engage in a high-level information war technique of setting up its own FSA ‘representatives’ with which to ‘negotiate with’. They could then turn around to the international community and western (and Russian) media consumers and show ‘look, we’ve reached a settlement’, and declare all those not in the settlement as either breaking the agreement or being ‘non agreement capable’.

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Dig a little deeper into this, and we must start to engage the question of Russia’s media love-affair with Pakistan. Pakistan’s ISI has long been connected to the U.S intelligence services, and was deeply involved in the cross-border support for the Bin Laden group, later known as Al Qaeda, then known as the Maktab al-Khidamat, in Afghanistan. This Al Qaeda then erupted in Syria, was known briefly otherwise before rebranding as ISIS, in their infamous white Toyota truck commercial.

Russia certainly needs to control and eliminate the threat of Salafist terrorism, especially given its territorial overlap into the Caucuses, a hot-bed of nominally Salafist radicalism, often expressed through terrorist acts.

One good way may be to make better deals with their immediate sources – Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Things like technology sharing and contact-swapping come into play here as well.

We’ve already seen Russia make some mutually beneficial deals with Saudi Arabia. Part of this may have to do with the seizure of power by MBS (Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud). Russian state media, remember, also had a love affair with MBS. At any rate, Russia was able to agree with the KSA on the elimination of Morsi in Egypt. Remember that Morsi was the pro-Turkey, pro-US, pro-Muslim Brotherhood – and more importantly – pro-intervention in Syria,  leader of Egypt. He magically came to power after the Arab Spring, organized by George Soros and Otpor! type rackets, were deployed by the U.S state department through a complex web of NGO’s, some even approved of by the  UN. Russia and the Saudis agreed on a plot to remove him, and worked to install Al Sisi – a compromise candidate who ‘reset’ Egypt’s status back to the Mubarak era. Likewise again, Al Sisi’s Egypt would find itself on the same side as Russia and the KSA across various North African conflicts and movements, including significantly those in Libya today.

FRN is not in the business of making unfounded accusations, and we can only lay out some pieces which we think may lead some of our more astute readers to reach towards their own theories, and possible conclusions.

In reality, Russia and India have long-standing, and presently very strong, strategic mutual interests. On the one hand, we are happy if Russia is helping – even if by an ‘over-bearing media hug’ – a path for Pakistan which may be emerging away from its official policy of creating, funding, and helping the U.S to operationalize ISIS and Al Qaeda groups.

Pakistan has legitimate national security questions, and issues of internal sovereignty to resolve, especially in light of their interpenetration by the U.S intelligence services, with which it organized, built, and used Al Qaeda over the last number of decades.

That said, the interlocking network of power-brokers and decision makers is such that, events have a tendency to move in ways outside of our ability to project, let alone control.

What we certainly are not interested in is any long-term ‘con’ in which Al Qaeda/ISI succeeds in penetrating our work through ‘diplomacy’ and media ‘collaboration’ under the auspices of the veneer of Russian vetting, only to find this problematically compromised in the medium-to-long term, even used against us under some legal pretext that ‘Russia now organizes Al Qaeda’, and that we had something to do with this.

India on the other-hand is a multipolar actor, and should be expected also to act in its perceived national security interests. Because one of its competitors is China, we should see India look to capitalize and work in areas where China does not or cannot work. These are practically natural, gravitational or magnetic-like laws of geopolitics at play.  Inserting judgments, condemnations, or placing it in the context of some grand morality play may provide some meaning to some, but ultimately clouds sound judgment if one’s job is to accurately interpret events.

Ultimately we know that a larger scheme is in the works, which will create a large co-prosperity zone involving all of the above mentioned states, and in reality, involving the interlocking directorates and elite-groups which make decisions under the auspices or flags of those respective states.

In that process, and after however, our chief obligation is to the public, and to report and analyze world events in the public interest. This does not involve ‘the noble lie’, we believe all lies, noble or ignoble, are ultimately exposed and those involved in them ultimately lose credibility. Credibility is more than a currency, it is very hard to earn and very easy to spend and lose.

FRN has long ago decided to throw its lot in with the readers, the public, in the name of open and honest journalism and analysis.

We affirm the right of Pakistan to clean its house, fix its problems – indeed it may be well on its way or even complete with it, in terms of rooting out its operationalizing and overt training, organizing, and financing of Al Qaeda and related terrorist groups. However, because there are so many moving parts, and because we are not Russian state media and are not interested in creating any sort of ‘push-polling‘ type simulacrum regarding Russia and Pakistan’s real relationship, we will instead focus  – as you have seen – on the relationship between India and Russia, which can far more openly and honestly be disclosed, without undue risks, moral complications, deceptions, or issues of integrity.

This does not mean that the Indian government is free of criticism, nor does it mean that we will not cover opposition movements or actors within India. We only know that Russian state media uses media differently than does citizen-driven journalism, such as FRN.

We will hold India to the same standards as any other country – pointing to India’s trade with the U.S must be understood in similar light as with China’s trade with the U.S – which by the way is tremendously greater. And yet this does not tarnish China’s reputation, or create the sense that China is somehow a client state of the U.S. Likewise, India, as a sovereign and powerful state, also has multiple-trade partners. That India has trade relations with Israel shall not be focused on at the expense of focusing on context, and we are not absent of the fact that the ‘specter’ of India-Israel trade comes with it some ‘belief’ that this points to some broader ‘Zionist’ conspiracy. It is rarely mentioned in Russian state sanctioned or sponsored media, when at times it mentions India’s trade with Israel, that it is China that is Israel’s number one trade partner in Asia, and in 2017, number three in the world. “From 1992 to 2017, bilateral trade has grown from $50 million to $13.1 billion. Now, China is Israel’s No. 1 trade partner in Asia and No. 3 trade partner in the world.”

Double standards are not acceptable to us.

The emerging multipolar world has been achieved, and Manichean thinking in terms of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ based on trade partnerships is an out-dated, even if inspiring for some, manner of viewing geopolitical events.

What citizens of conscience should however embrace, and see the ‘good’ in, is that the period of unipolar hegemony is over. While China, India, Russia, the U.S all have extra-territorial interests as hegemons of different kinds, these create local hubs of capital accumulation, which are better, more justly, or more rationally distributed in their respective areas provided that they remain in these respective areas.

FRN is committed to the public interest, as citizen journalists. We thank you again for understanding what distinguishes us from a larger milieu which, to the untrained eye, may appear as one and the same. Contrary to that, as crowd-funded journalism, we rely on you the reader to carry on our important work.

Thank you many times over,

Joaquin Flores

Editor in Chief, FRN









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