Debunking The Latest Conspiracy Theory About Sino-Russo Infowar Cooperation

Debunking The Latest Conspiracy Theory About Sino-Russo Infowar Cooperation

By Andrew Korybko

Ivana Stradner’s and The Intercept’s timed reports pushed a literal conspiracy theory that aimed to serve several of the Golden Billion’s interests. First, it distracts the public from the Mainstream Media’s own clandestine coordination. Second, it attempts to discredit legitimate dissent in the West by misportraying it as part of a Sino-Russo conspiracy. And finally, it tries to justify the $885 million that the US is investing in information warfare in 2023.

The latest conspiracy theory spewed by the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) alleges that Russia and China are cooperating to wage information warfare against the Golden Billion. Ivana Stradner, a research Fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies focusing on Russia’s information security who co-authored a piece with the former Pentagon spy chief in September on waging information warfare against Russia, prominently pushed this narrative in late December.

She published a piece at the New York Post warning that “Russia and China are fuelling web wars to divide Americans”, in which she deliberately exaggerated the impact of suspected social media sock puppets on shaping Western perceptions about sensitive issues. Her article can be interpreted as a thinly disguised attempt to discredit legitimate dissent in that de facto New Cold War bloc’s societies by implying that these folks’ legally enshrined freedom of speech is manipulated by foreign powers.

In a stunning display of chutzpah, Stradner concluded her piece by declaring that “Moscow and Beijing already claim to believe the US is waging an information war against them. If only that represented the reality on the ground.” This is a factually false claim considering that she literally co-authored an article with the former Pentagon spy chief in September explaining the US’ modus operandi for waging information warfare against Russia like was earlier cited in the present article.

The Intercept then released a report several days later dramatically claiming that “Hacked Russian Files Reveal Propaganda Agreement With China”. Upon reading what its authors wrote, it becomes clear that all that those two countries agreed to do was share one another’s content on occasion. This is the norm in international media nowadays since a lot of the MSM’s own reports are republished by their partners. There’s nothing nefarious in doing so, yet Stradner and The Intercept hypocritically imply that there is.

These two influential articles represent an emerging trend whereby the MSM gaslights that none of its outlets ever allowed anyone else to republish their own work and that those among its competitors who share others’ supposedly have a secret agenda connected to manipulating the Western masses. The reality is that it’s none other than the MSM that’s manipulating these same masses by misleading them into believing that every public expression of dissent by their people is part of a Sino-Russo conspiracy.

To explain, Stradner is so deeply embedded in the US’ information warfare ecosystem that she had the privilege of co-authoring a piece alongside the former Pentagon spy chief on how to wage exactly this against Russia. Anyone who regards her as an innocent activist independently operating on her own prerogative without any ulterior motive or connection whatsoever to the US Government (USG) is therefore wrong since the facts indisputably prove the opposite.

There shouldn’t be any doubt that her role in that declining unipolar hegemon’s campaign against its top two geopolitical opponents is to serve as the vanguard force for introducing the USG’s latest weaponized conspiracy theory into the public discourse. From there, The Intercept further twisted Western perceptions on this artificially manufactured issue by misportraying supposedly hacked Russian documents as allegedly proving the existence of secret information warfare cooperation with China.

It’s a matter of public record that those two countries’ leading media outlets have openly entered into cooperation agreements with one another to share each other’s content. That being the objectively existing and easily verifiable case, it means that Stradner’s and The Intercept’s dramatic claims are speculation at best and deliberate disinformation at worst, the second of which was arguably their motivation considering the manipulative way in which they reported on this subject.

As the popular saying associated with statistics goes, “correlation doesn’t mean causation”, which the reader is being reminded of in this context to reinforce the fact that similar editorial angles by publicly financed Russian and Chinese media aren’t proof in and of itself of coordination or a conspiracy. Rather, the interests of these multipolar Great Powers independently align due to their roles in the global systemic transition, hence why they often report on subjects from similar angles without coordinating.

That doesn’t mean that they never applied their publicly disclosed cooperation agreements, but just that this wasn’t ever done to the extent that Stradner and The Intercept falsely imply. Far from closely coordinating every piece of content that their respective outlets published about those issues in which their state patrons’ interests align, this mostly remained limited to the realm of cultural issues and only speciously appeared to have concerned much more politically consequential ones on a larger level.

By contrast, the MSM arguably coordinates its messaging a lot more closely than Russia and China do, so much so that the former can be described as actually embodying the speculative claims about the latter. This is evidenced by their near-identical information products, indistinguishable narratives about sensitive issues, and conspicuous omitting of “politically inconvenient” developments like Zelensky recently pulling a page from Putin’s playbook to say that his enemies are “following the devil.”

If there truly wasn’t any close clandestine cooperation between the MSM’s many outlets, then it would naturally follow that quite a few of them would break with their peers in at least one of the preceding three themes, yet this hasn’t happened at all when it comes to the Ukrainian Conflict. In fact, if any occasional divergence between them existed prior to the onset of NATO’s proxy war on Russia through Ukraine, then it’s gone nowadays after that conflict led to their narrative consolidation as explained.

Returning back to Stradner’s and The Intercept’s reports that were clearly timed to coincide with one another, these two are pushing a literal conspiracy theory that serves several of the Golden Billion’s interests. First, it distracts the public from the MSM’s own clandestine coordination. Second, it attempts to discredit legitimate dissent in the West by misportraying it as part of a Sino-Russo conspiracy. And finally, it tries to justify the $885 million that the US is investing in information warfare in 2023.

The last-mentioned ulterior motive explains why those two are so passionate about pushing this artificially manufactured conspiracy theory since it serves as the pretext for why they and their ilk supposedly deserve to be indefinitely funded, whether directly or more likely indirectly as is presumably the case. Without false fears about Sino-Russia information warfare cooperation, it would be extremely difficult for the Western masses to accept why nearly $1 billion is being spent on producing propaganda.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.

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Categories: Analysis, Geopolitics, International Affairs

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