The image above the latest newsletter of the “EU East StratCom Task Force” was decorated with two peace symbols that are comprehensible worldwide: with the white dove and with the olive branch. From the front, then, the offer of peace, but behind it is armed aggression – symbolized with a pistol. This is how the illustration of the “Task Force” suggests to the viewer even before he begins to read. However, the topic of the current news of the multi-million-dollar task force is always the same: the threat to the West from Russia – not (yet) with weapons, but now with cyberattacks and disinformation. With hybrid war.
The EU’s “task force” responsible for “strategic communication” draws attention to misinformation by Russian and “Kremlin-friendly” media, in several languages, in real or alleged. And then such nice stories are told, for example, how in St. Petersburg the “Café ZOOM” was closed by police, officially because the guests did not wear masks and did not keep the required distance, but probably because the police – mistakenly – assumed that the café was involved in an LGBT festival held via ZOOM. If you’re looking, you’ll find: This also applies to stories, especially if they are suitable for hybrid warfare.
The EU East StratCom Task Force is happy. Last week, as she announced in her November 26 newsletter, she found 69 misinformation from Kremlin-friendly media.
The Washington Post has counted more than 20,000 lies by President Donald Trump by October 2020, an average of just over 100 a week. Of course, “StratCom” knows nothing about this, because that would slightly put into perspective the 69 “disinformation” of all Kremlin-friendly media in Europe and the Middle East counted in one week …
What one can attest to the “StratCom” without envy: It knows well with symbols and also with phrases. And she has talented graphic artists:
But who reads “StratCom”? Fascists like @akk, nato running boy Maas and the Bild Zeitung?
The “New York Times” is more interesting.
Whether the multimillion-dollar budget of the EU East StratCom Task Force is well-used money to make Russia’s hybrid war against the West plausible to the world remains to be seen. It is cheaper and more efficient, as perhaps the most prestigious newspaper in the world does: the “New York Times”. At the moment, she is looking for a new Russia correspondent. The NYT describes quite vividly in the job entry of 20 November how the wanted journalist should see and judge Russia. Under the title “Job Description”, the NYT writes verbatim.
“Vladimir Putin’s Russia is and remains one of the greatest stories in the world. Russia is sending nerve-gas-armed killer commandos against its enemies, most recently opposition leader Alexei Navalny. It lets its cyber agents sow chaos and disharmony in the West in order to taint democratic systems while promoting its own false version of democracy. Russia has used paid mercenaries around the world to secretly expand its influence. At home, his hospitals quickly fill up with Covid patients while the president hides in his mansion.
If this description sounds like an area you want to cover in journalism, then we have good news: there will be a job for a new correspondent, as Andy Higgins becomes our next head of the Eastern Europe office early next year.
We are looking forward to seeing those interested in taking on one of the most legendary correspondent posts at The Times, a post filled with the likes of Bill Keller, Serge Schmemann, Hedrick Smith, Clifford Levy and Ellen Barry. We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic about the prospect of crossing 11 time zones in order to track down a population that is increasingly frustrated with an economy that is being pulled down by corruption, nepotism and over-reliance on natural resources. This correspondent’s job offers an opportunity to document the continued rule of one of the world’s most charismatic leaders, President Vladimir V. Putin. The catchment area also includes the incredible diversity and diversity of other countries of the former Soviet Union. The correspondent can report from Estonia to Kyrgyzstan.
Not to mention that Putin initiated constitutional changes, so that he is likely to remain in power for many years to come. And that we in the US are on the verge of a new, less Putin-friendly president, which should, of course, fuel relations between Washington and Moscow.”
This, too, is hybrid war: it orders negative coverage of another country.
Even the world-famous “New York Times” already describes in the job advertisement what political view the future correspondent must have on Russia in order to get the job. And here we wonder, albeit in the German-speaking world, from the “Zeit” to the “Welt” and the “Süddeutsche” to the NZZ under Eric Gujer, to read almost daily about what aggressive country Russia is after all.