How COVID and Syria Conspiracy Theories Introduce Fascism to the Left Part 3: The Red-Brown Media Spectrum

Part 1 of this series outlined the key concepts and context surrounding red-brownism and looked at some examples of its right-leaning incantations. Part 2 dove into the chaotic world of pure red-brownism. Part 3 of this series further looks at the methods and effectiveness of the red-brown and fascistic media ecosystem in infiltrating leftist spheres of influence. This will perhaps be the most controversial part of the series and the hardest to explain, which makes its message all the more important. As information warfare is itself an existential threat to all of humanity through its relation to catastrophic military power, it is imperative that we bravely tread the murky waters of red-brown proliferation.

The left-aligned red-brown adjacent ecosystem usually bridges their connections to the right through things like authoritarian ultra-nationalism, anti-Zionism, populism, and resistance to US centrism, the Democratic party, or liberalism more broadly. This process effectively launders red-brown speakers and talking points to a broader self-identified leftist audience. For example, while some fascists see the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as an example of ethno-nationalism resisting foreign influence (and sometimes the DPRK supports those same nazis!), some authoritarian Marxist-Leninists see it as an example of an anti-imperialist communist project overcoming the odds. So while their reasons may be distinct, they can end up sharing each others’ resources and with short-term aligned goals. Much of this is possible through what is known as Marcyism[1] which, as it pertains to this discussion, holds the view that any nominally socialist country claiming, however tenuously, to oppose the West must be supported without public critique lest criticisms contribute to the imperial repression of global socialism. This ideology blames imperialist attacks on those who attempt to hold non-hegemonic powers accountable. It says that to criticize the fact that China is a state-capitalist country or to say Assad is responsible for incomprehensible crimes against humanity, is to be directly responsible for the ways in which western imperialists operationalize these realities for their own ends.

Obviously, imperialists do not take their cues from leftists – it’s worse than that. Left leaning red-brown ideology invisibilizes not just the possibility of holding complex multi-leveled analyses, but also those movements on the ground fighting fascism and imperialism from nested cores and peripheries who are often asking explicitly for international solidarity. Furthermore, this view also, ironically, accomplishes for those regional elites what it claims to be opposed to doing for the West, namely, covering up war crimes. Illustratively, while Marcyite views were originally Trotskyist, they have taken a foothold across much of the broader socialist left especially with so-called “tankies” or apologists for authoritarian-communist regimes. These forms of ultra-nationalist traditionalism and revisionism open up the flood-gates for multiple forms of either accidental or intentional red-brown fascist and far-right populist alliances. An example is the way unflinching resistance to the possibility of Assad committing war-crimes – including using chemical weapons – in its desire to resist US intelligence agency propaganda, ends up holding the door open to Holocaust revisionism. There are many examples of this such as the anti-OPCW neo-Nazi content discussed in Part 1 from Daily Stormer on Russia Insider that draws from left aligned authors and media outlets.

The following outlets are not explicitly fascist. However, through their cultivated denial of problematic behaviors of those they support and the sketchy red-brown networks associated with them, they open the door to fascists to repurpose their work and cultivate broader pathways for fascist recruitment. They often dress far-right talking points such as “the War on Terror” in far-left aesthetics in order to apply it unequally to Xinjiang as if it were entirely distinct from its problematic usage in the United States. In short, they hugely expand the pipelines exposing leftists to fascist rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and red-brown content more broadly by making it palatable and with the right buzzwords for the audience. For example, award-winning producer and director Oliver Stone, with over 160k followers on Twitter, tweeted out support for both of the outlets in this section (Global Research and Grayzone) within days of each other. Indeed, using the SMAT app, we were able to see both sites being shared in the r/conspiracy subreddit with Global Research also making appearances in r/Coronavirus.


SMAT app analysis of which subreddits most shared the link ‘thegrayzone.com’ with r/conspiracy and r/MoreTankieChapo showing up prominently

 Part three will focus on Global Research and the Grayzone as examples of this syncretic conspiracy landscape and its flows. Even though the phenomenon is not well understood, it’s impacts on both the left and right are very clear and move directly from these niche networks into the highest levels of government and media. In Part 2 of this series we discussed how the idea of Black Lives Matter being a ‘neoliberal color revolution’ against the United States somehow by the democrats and the CIA themselves being discussed by former senator Cynthia McKinney and fascist aligned Maram Susli. This idea came first from the LaRouchite fascist William F. Engdahl through the right libertarian Lew Rockwell blog and was spread through an InfoWars writer on Global Research. A short time later, Darren J. Beattie appeared spreading the ideas with Tucker Carlson on Fox. The idea made its way all the way to Glenn Beck as well in the form of COVID conspiracies. Beattie was disgraced when far-right House Republican Matt Gaetz came under fire for potentially misappropriating House funds for funneling taxpayer funds to Beattie who was also a speaker at a white nationalist conference. Beattie has the phrase “Moderate Rebels” in his bio which is also incidentally the name of the Grayzone podcast that spreads the idea that the White Helmets are “a color revolution”.

Of course, with the Grayzone being among the most responsible for the White Helmets “color revolution” line, it should be shocking to see this far-right speech writer comparing Black Lives Matter to a color revolution alongside the White Helmets in the same tweet. The Grayzone of course frequently boosts this idea of color revolution as a way of absolving itself of critiques such as this article in response to this article’s accurate claims that The Grayzone were minimizing state violence in Xinjiang. This swamp of ideas spreading is important to tease out, however confusing, because Trump himself watches hours of Fox News a day and now we can see ideas spreading directly from these red-brown networks, and potentially informing White House policy as well as revitalizing things like genocide denial on the left. Of all the sections of this piece, Part 3 will be the most detailed, simply because it’s the most difficult to convince[2] people of its existence and so warrants greater explanation.

Global Research

Michel Chossudovsky is a leftist economics professor at the University of Ottawa (now emeritus) and used to be a consultant for several international bodies and countries. In 2001, he started up the Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalization (henceforth Global Research). The website would establish a separate French language website called Mondialisation in 2006,  before becoming a multilingual network in the years to come. At first, Global Research received a number of articles from anti-establishment intellectuals as well as anti-war and anti-capitalist academia.

Network map from the Site Ecosystem Mapper of external sites linked to by Global Research including those they control and ‘splinter’ content through such as: mondialisation.ca, Globaliza-cion, and Asia-Pacific Research

Since the website accepts any critique of the state and capital regardless of political orientation, the website was quickly ostracized for antisemitism, 9/11 conspiracy theories and Milošević apologism[3]. Universities severed ties with Chossudovsky denying any personal involvement, stating that he didn’t read submissions and claims to delete contested articles as required under the Canadian legal code. Since then, Global Research was largely seen as inconsequential and relegated to a hub where people assumed only harmless conspiratorial thoughts such as chemtrails and UFO sightings were published.

However, the website was not without controversies after this— becoming the epicenter of anti-vaccination speculations and is responsible for spreading the Irish Slave myth (twice). Several anti-fascists, researchers, investigative journalists and bloggers uncovered early instances of red-brownism and indicators of Global Research being a part of Duginist networks during the period of growing euroscepticism amongst the far-right and hard-left. Along with Unz Review, Global Research was identified as one of the earliest vectors of red-brown syndication[4].

As a consequence, Global Research underwent scrutiny from mainstream media and several government agencies when it picked up an article about a chemical gas attack upon the opposition-held town of Khan Shaykhun from an obscure website al-Masdar News ran by the Stormfront affiliated Paul Antonopoulos (who they also publish). This article was then picked up by InfoWars, the alt-right networks and left-leaning skeptics upon republishing. The (dis)information campaign deepened by resharing opinion pieces and factoids which soon followed. Being based in Canada, hosting a large selection of articles from recognizable authors are what gave the website credibility in the eyes of people searching for alternative media yet still skeptical of authoritarian regimes with state-affiliated and state-funded news (such as Iran, Russia, People’s Republic of China, Turkey).

It’s important to note that Global Research showed support for the Ba’athist Syrian Arab Republic and Bashar al-Assad as early as 2009 or 2007, several years before the Syrian Revolution, undermining the Syrian Left by conflating and constantly asserting NATO and CIA of funding al-Qaeda and ISIS, and declared the Arab Spring in 2011 was part of an imperialist agenda. All of this long before the USA and the EU began accusing Russia of this modern wave of (dis)information warfare.

Several interns and former employees at Global Research stated they receive a steady firehose of incoming information from multiple sources and they don’t filter, often simply copying and pasting the content. One person believes the website was amplified to become a semi-popular multilingual platform because non-discriminate narratives happened to align with Kremlin’s and Damascus’s goals. The fact Global Research doesn’t fact-check, that they republish unknown sources without editorial oversight, and that it doesn’t apply scrutiny to authors’ political orientation is disconcerting.

Upon investigation, alongside F. William Engdahl, we see Michel Chossudovsky and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya sat at the committee alongside the likes of John Laughland[5] and Aleksander Dugin for the Italian publication EURASIA: Rivista di Studi Geopolitici edited by Tiberio Graziani.[6] Granzini also sat at the High Council of the International Eurasian Network. If names on committees are not enough, Engdahl himself gave a speech at the international conference “Geopolitics of a Multipolar World” as a representative of Global Research at Moscow State University[7]. Yet, Engdahl could have made contact with the Russian far right in the early 1990s through the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies prior to joining Global Research in the early 2000s. Many of the authors mentioned in Dugin’s works or lectures would also have their essays and articles re-published to Global Research.

Global Research‘s affiliates include 4th Media, Strategic Culture Foundation, SouthFront and Voltaire Network. The Voltaire Network is a querfront conspiracy website run by Thierry Meyssan that features Holocaust denialists, Duginists, and varied connections to parties like the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. Some of Global Researchs writers also migrated to other outlets. Pepe Escobar started writing for Global Research in 2005 before moving to Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF) in 2015. Finian Cunningham started in 2010, then two years later, six weeks after quitting his position, published for SCF. Federico Pieraccini from SCF gets republished via Global Research, SouthFront, Geopoliticia and Sputnik as well as several other right-leaning publications mentioned earlier in Part 1 and Part 2. On top of all of this, Chossudovsky participates in a self-feeding loop of contributing to Voice of Russia (prior to merger with Russia Today (RT) and the outlet rebranded as Sputnik), RT, InfoWars as well as a reciprocal relationship republishing articles from those sources (from RT, InfoWars, Voice of Russia and Sputnik). Several members of the staff as well as associates, both current and past, can also be easily found on these websites as well.

Some leftists believe Global Research is a credible source without digging into the more problematic sections of the website due to republishing articles from AlterNet and The Grayzone as well as aggregation of several recognizable figures such as Michael Parenti and Phil Greaves. Due to syndication issues, we cannot say these authors support Global Research, although Caleb Maupin (who frequents events with Dugin) does include Global Research, alongside MintPress News and InfoWars, as part of his curriculum vitae on his webpage and Maram Susli (Partisangirl) cited her own article on Twitter.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Global Research began promoting pro-China “anti-imperialist” pieces out of perceived anti-capitalist critique of both the USA and the EU, which opened the door to a wide range of conspiracy theories about COVID-19. Concurrently, there is a disturbing trend of public figures taking the articles seriously which have political ramification. For example, Iranian government departments and news agencies[8] citing Global Research for COVID-related information, despite the frustration of Iranian citizens wanting reliable fact-based information about the coronavirus and not disinformation from conspiratorial websites with contradictory positions. A Chinese state official, Lijian Zhao, also began citing the website. Because of this recent development, some began speculating Global Research of not just being pro-Kremlin, but also becoming politically aligned with Beijing. Whether through ignorance or intentional red-brown cultivation, they have deeply strengthened the pathways for fascism into left platforms and networks through red-brown style populism in addition to spreading those narratives with collusion from state officials.[9]

The Grayzone

While The Grayzone blog attempts to discuss many important issues such as criticisms of US imperialism, yet they do so without offering any meaningful critique whatsoever of other imperialist governments such as Putin’s Russia or the Chinese free-market (state-capitalist) state.[10] Ostensibly, this is because they think that criticizing Russia or China somehow causes the US imperialists to exist as if a multi-partial critique was impossible. On closer inspection, the revolving door between them and the Kremlin and other red-brown media partially explains their unflinching support as this section will adress.

One of Grayzones clearest connections to prominent red-brown figures is through authors such as Yasha Levine, who almost reverently support the original NazBol (National Bolshevik) Eduard Limonov. Aside from lavishing him on Twitter, he went as far as re-publishing his obituary, describing him as a “radical Soviet writer” and saying “Fuck them” to those that consider him problematic. Limonov, of course, fired a machine gun at Sarajevo during the Bosnian genocide while being guided by none other than the genocidaire Radovan Karadžić himself. But, of course, Levine, with other Grayzone associates such as Mark Ames and Taibbi was affiliated with The eXile magazine that gave Limonov a column where he wrote over 60 articles.[11]

A few different articles have discussed the ways that Grayzone introduce various far-right and fascist sources into the mainstream left such as supporting SouthFront and Global Research figure Paul Antonopoulos, who was fired from the Assadist news network al-Masdar for his posts seeking to create alliances on the white supremacist forum Stormfront. Al-Masdar is an Assadist website that boosts Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal and Abby Martin and is also responsible for spreading Syria false-flag conspiracies verbatim to both the right-aligned InfoWars and left-aligned Global Research that Grayzone picked up on around 2016.

 Grayzone has been a stalwart for introducing denialism about Assad and Russia’s crimes against humanity in Syria despite its authors like Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal having opposite positions before 2016. If you look into their primary sources on research into issues like the use of chemical weapons in Syria, they often come from the sketchy WordPress blog Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media run, among others, by Piers Robinson, Tim Hayward, and Vanessa Bealey in relation to the Organisation for Propaganda Studies. Chomsky reportedly stepped down off of the board for the Organisation for Propaganda Studies after their genocide denialism was exposed[12]. Piers Robinson, Beeley, and Tim Hayward have been heavily criticized for sharing coronavirus conspiracy theories. Tim Hayward is also just a run-of-the-mill 9/11 truther like Vanessa Beeley. Vanessa is a regular author and editor of 21st Century Wire discussed previously, but also an author on outlets like MintPress News. Of course, when criticized, they tend to just create more conspiracy theories. It should come as no surprise that so many of them are regularly featured on Russian state media.[13]

But it’s not just Grayzone’s sources reporting on Syria that are regulars on the Russian state-media circuit – so are most of its key writers. Grayzones founder, Max Blumenthal, was criticized for his abrupt shift on Syrian politics after a pilgrimage to Moscow followed by extensive appearances on RT – Ben Norton following suit. But it gets stranger than that. At one point, Max was a panelist for an RT event entitled “InfoWar: There will be a winner” alongside the infamous Holocaust denier Charles Bausman who founded Russia Insider. Blumenthal cites LaRouchite Holocaust denialist Engdahl as a reputable source on Serbian politics. He even goes as far as to suggest that Engdahl, being a LaRouche analyst, is a “solid credential.” This makes sense because the way that Grayzone denies the existence of leftists in the Syrian opposition (that they used to acknowledge!) mirrors the way that F. William Engdahl Islamophobically claims in red-brown ZeroHedge that Syrian refugees dying in the Aegean sea are all part of some Soros-funded ISIS scheme. This callous disregard for Syrian lives is never more evident than in Blumenthal’s tweet mocking the over 1,400 Syrian men, women, and children killed in extensively documented chemical weapons attacks.

While one would assume that Max is not himself a Holocaust revisionist, through his presence he introduces his alt-imperialist audience to literal Holocaust deniers by promoting RT and their casual acceptance of strategic racism. We can see further evidence of these ‘acceptable’ alliances with Grayzone regulars like Gareth Porter who has been on or moderated several panels at New Horizon from Part 2. On one such panel, he spoke alongside Holocaust denier Kevin Barret and fellow Global Research featured conspiracist Wayne Madsen, with the discussion framed as simply a debate on Israeli lobbying.

Their connections to powerful Russian media and state outlets doesn’t stop there, though. Grayzone author Rhania Khalek’s employers In The Now[14], and its parent organization, Maffick, has recently launched a lawsuit against Facebook for labeling them Russian state-affiliated media – like YouTube did before Facebook. Claims of their connection to the Russian state were first published by BuzzFeed and decried by RT. She claims this label is “false” but filings by Facebook reveal some difficult contradictions. The proceedings state, “The materials that Maffick sent to Facebook in support of its appeal did not include official documents showing sources of funding, the organizational structure of Maffick’s board, or the processes it employs to ensure editorial independence from the Russian state.” It goes further stating;

Maffick Media, a company whose majority shareholder is Ruptly, a subsidiary of RT”—formerly known as Russia Today”—“which is funded by the Russian government…Ruptlys stated goals include to build and extend the core strengths and values of [its]parent company RT.According to RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, those strengths include serving as an information weaponagainst the Kremlins adversaries.”

Even Maffick Media itself similarly stated that “[t]he government that helps fund our company is Russia.” Rhania also highlights the seeming double-standard between US Agency for Global Media outlets like Radio Free Europe not getting state-affiliated labels. While USAGM makes a lot of noises about editorial independence like RT, their historical relationship with the CIA has ongoing prevalence with figures like Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State under Trump and Director of the CIA, on the board. Rhania is correct in saying that USAGM should be held under a similar magnifying glass. Unfortunately, USAGM continues to fail to meet their legal duty of reply to my FOIA attempts and all of the outlets they fund are themselves not eligible for FOIAs. But labeling USAGM outlets doesn’t mean media outlets with strong ties to the Russian state should somehow be exempt. They both deserve exposure in our efforts to transcend imperialist information warfare. However, Rhania seems more concerned with defending RT’s conspiracy theories about 5G than with delving into these nuances. Even Twitter has warned her previously about boosting accounts affiliated with Russian state-influenced campaigns. What’s more, recently, a Russian intelligence asset who received sensitive information from Manafort was seen boosting Grayzone, especially with regard to their conspiracy theories about Syria.

With connections like these, it is not surprising that Grayzone sticks full-heartedly to the impossibility that Assad used chemical weapons against his own civilians when they take similar lines on other ongoing campaigns of state-violence if the states in question claim to be anti-US. There have now been two independent inquiries (1, 2) into the Grayzone ecosystem’s ongoing whitewashing of state-violence against Uyghur Muslims.[15] Grayzone writer Alexander Rubenstein tweeted in discussion about Uyghur detention camps: “Can’t remember people that don’t exist.” He then quickly deleted the tweet and justified it as follows: “I deleted a tweet because it was being misinterpreted as a rejection of the existence of Uighur Muslims when it was meant as a rejection of there being a genocide against them. To be clear there is no genocide in Xinjiang. Stay mad about it”. Similar comments have also come from Grayzone regular Aaron Maté. This callous disregard for internationalist solidarity shows the inherent links between Syrian leftists and those in places like Hong Kong resisting red-brown alliances both from within and outside especially as they spread revisionism about state violence.

Alex Rubenstein is the same author that, in an article for Sputnik, basically writes a whole piece about his own tweet defending right-wing conspiratorial shock jock Alex Jones against a Twitter ban. He seems to follow a similar pattern of ‘journalism’ in his work for RT in which he can be seen adding a few more words to his tweets and calling it an article. Similar phenomena of white-washing non-Western crimes against humanity can be seen in the way that Grayzone rightly acknowledges CIA involvement in Otpor! but conveniently fail to mention the Bosnian genocide, instead saying simply: “Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic [sic], who was targeted for overthrow by NATO for being insufficiently compliant.” So, while Alex is assumedly not a Holocaust revisionist either, their shared love of white-washing crimes against humanity committed by right-wing governments if they claim to be anti-imperialist, opens up the door to genocide revisionists more broadly. We can see evidence of this kind of behavior with twitter users like “Death to Western Imperialism”, stating: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Holocaust is a hoax. Considering how much western media lies about China genociding Uygurs [sic], it wouldn’t surprise me if they lie about other genocides.” Of course this user also regularly retweets Grayzoners, including Ben Norton, who claimed that all of the mass mobilizations in Belarus are completely the product of CIA intervention rather than a complex landscape of dissent and various domestic and foreign powers.

While Grayzone is correct in pointing out that we should follow the money and investigate incentives in large industries and western geopolitical alliances, it is made nearly impossible by Grayzone to turn this mirror inward. Some articles of questionable quality have alluded to the manipulability of anonymous Patreon donors, especially for Russian operations. Grayzone’s PayPal just goes to Max Blumenthal. The confusing opacity goes deeper when one looks at the now administratively dissolved “Active Measures Media, LLC” of which Max is the principal and is registered to Dan Cohen. Of course, “active measures” is the term for Soviet political warfare. In any case, transparency around their funding would clarify and possibly vindicate them, but this continues not to happen.

But Grayzone is not a full-on fascist conspiratorial outlet like many of the places covered in this investigation. So, while they are willing to go full bore on conspiracy theories such as the idea that White Helmets in Syria are simply terrorists engaging in false-flag operations, around topics like vaccines and COVID-19 they are more careful though the same networks and themes still appear. In the Grayzone-affiliated podcast and video series designed to discredit secular opposition to Assad sarcastically called “Moderate Rebels”, they invited Pepe Escobar to discuss his theories about how the US is using the coronavirus as a weapon against China. Pepe Escobar has over 300 articles as a contributor to the fascist website Russia Insider. He writes about hanging out with Aleksandr Dugin for the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs-affiliated Strategic Culture Foundation as well as writing for the Russian state affiliated Duginist outlet Katehon. On another podcast, Pepe spoke with the Veterans Todayaffiliated Holocaust denialist Kevin Barret and Anthony Hall stating Pepe was one of their main reasons for going to the New Horizon conference. When Gareth Porter of Grayzone later stated regret about having attended the New Horizon conference, he insisted Pepe and Medea were also surprised and dismayed by the antisemitism and other conspiracy theories. Yet, his defense of Pepe and his regret comes off as disingenuous because Pepe is, as we’ve seen, something of a pillar in these networks. He must not have regretted it much though, because he went back again in 2019. This is the authority Grayzone brings on to discuss this delicate issue, for which journalists should have an extreme responsibility towards.

Since then they have also published another article about coronavirus vaccines by two RT employees, which carefully walks the line between conspiracy theory and investigative journalism. The first version of the article quoted one of the leading anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists, Del Bigtree however, without editorial remark they deleted his quote after many people online pressured them to do so. They also quoted Colin Todhunter, who is once again extensively found on Global Research. Indeed, a lot of their arguments appear to be pulled directly from an article re-posted months prior by Todhunter on Global Research. The Global Research article argues against vaccinations and lockdown measures claiming that measures taken to undermine the pandemic are worse than the pandemic itself and the Grayzone article isn’t much better. They quote extensively Vandana Shiva, who also shares content from Engdahl discussing conspiracy theories about Rockefeller and Gates plotting to create a global eugenics and depopulation empire.

This Grayzone article never makes any kind of significant nod to the fact that vaccines are the pinnacle of modern medicine. Whatever one’s critiques of the World Health Organization may be, they’re right to acknowledge that over 17 million lives have been saved since 2000 by the Measles vaccine alone. This is obviously not a justification for any kind of malfeasance or imperialist exploitation, it just seems suspect to not really address it. It’s especially dangerous in a climate when you have outlets like Global Research citing RT to push a conspiracy theory insisting that Bill Gates is trying to depopulate the Earth. Max Blumenthal goes further to defend and boost Global Research as “counter-hegemonic media” to his over 200k followers.

Grayzone’s alliances become even clearer in a recent article by Ben Norton, who completely uncritically praised Russian development of a COVID-19 vaccine, despite their process being deeply criticized with many of the same criticisms Grayzone had of US initiatives such as irresponsible roll-out and testing on the most vulnerable members of society and in the global south. So, again, while it makes sense to hold those that would seek profit over the opportunity to save global millions accountable, the way they do so is deeply geopolitically allied and pushes those biases onto readers.

When outlets like Grayzone fail to sufficiently distinguish their views from near-conspiratorial and far-right or syncretic fascist alliances through explicit dissociation, it serves to normalize writers, outlets, and ideas and introduce their corrosive influence into movements that would otherwise be ideologically opposed to the creep of fascist entryism.

It’s even worse when they start conspiracy theories about movements in the US or abroad as a means of attacking their near enemies. Obviously, the State Department and their goals with Russia are extremely suspect but that doesn’t mean one can simply dismiss anything they say as false or you’ll end up doing ideological contortions. More important is to parse true from false information from propaganda on many sides at once. Readers seeking trustworthy independent anti-imperlialist and anti-fascist media should be critical of the biases and networks of all of the outlets they ingest.

 Conclusion: Towards an Anti-Fascist, Anti-Imperialist, and fact-based Internationalism

 Not all of the outlets discussed in this series are fascist or white-supremacist in any kind of highly concentrated form. Many of them are explicitly opposed to these ideologies. Nonetheless, the connections between them paint an interesting overlap of ideas and audiences that map the spread of far-right talking points and alliances into the left through red-brownism. Many of these outlets hold contradictory positions from each other and themselves but yet seem to align on several key points such as COVID-19 and Syria-related conspiracy theories. It is exceptionally difficult to parse conspiracy theories and disinformation from truth in this era where the capacity of states, corporations, and individual ideologues is super-empowered to wreak information warfare[17].

The heart of the red-brown menace is that different actors can pursue the same goal and limited alliances for wildly different, even contradictory purposes. Some, like the New Horizon Organization or Duginist 4th Political Theory view these red-brown populist alliances as a goal in and of themselves. Others are pulled into their gravity through ignorance or incentives such as power, money, or less menacingly the ‘need for speed’ and click-bait in modern publishing which makes fact-checking more difficult. This dynamic of strange bedfellows can be seen in the ways that Holocaust denialists will try to operationalize any left-wing critiques of Zionism or Israeli policies as antisemitic attacks more broadly. Relatedly, if someone supports leftists in Hong Kong or Syria, neoconservatives could try to operationalize those relationships and articles to support their imperialist agendas if they aren’t carefully worded.

It’s worth noting that the Christchurch killer identified as both an anti-imperialist and an environmentalist despite the obvious glaring inconsistencies in ideology with his fascism. This is in no way a critique on anti-imperialism or environmentalism in itself, but simply a recognition of the strange and dangerous ways they can be weaponized. These pipelines lead to things like a resurgence of Holocaust revisionism, through genocide denial more broadly on the left and as such are extremely dangerous.

Internationalist, anti-reactionary, and anti-campist chants [YouTube video, 4 minutes] from Lebanese protests. Explained in more detail in “Revolution Everywhere” by Lausan.
In these murky political arenas, one’s political enemies from within the broader left, but with different views on what that looks like, might also try to utilize any nuance about these dynamics as weapons in smear campaigns. So, pro-Assad Marxist-Lenists and their bedfellows suggest that anyone critical of Assad supports both the CIA and al-Qaeda, in a racist invisibilization of the hard-fought nuanced radicalism of places like Kafranabel. As a result of these dynamics, it’s critical to attempt to neither over-extrapolate, nor fail to expose these pipelines of fascistic and far-right creep as they emerge. One hopes instead to cultivate a humble and yet audacious subtlety towards exposing dangerous underlying dynamics. Thus, in the same way that most critics of right-wing Zionism are not antisemitic, most supporters of the Syrian left (and civilians more broadly) are not then also supporters of Daesh/Nusra/Ahrar al-Sham/HTS or the western warhawks and intelligence agencies. Since both right-wing Zionists and antisemites want to collapse critiques of Israeli policy into antisemitism, it’s critical to make sure that any connections, however seemingly slight between legitimate critiques and red-brown fascist entryism, are closed off. This is all the more critical as Israel attempts to consolidate its annexation plans in Palestine.

Protest and solidarity banner from Kafranabel, Syria with Black Lives Matter in 2014. Original source of photo unknown other than that it began to appear on Tumblr in 2015.

In order to distinguish one’s political project from the enemies it may seem to share a goal with, anti-imperialist and internationalist left must loudly and explicitly weed out and block attempts, intentional or otherwise, to cede fascist efforts across political lines. Examples of this can be seen in organizations like Lausan, taking a principled stand against imperialist ‘anti-imperialism’ from Beijing and short-sighted conservative and imperialist alliances with the west in their decolonial movement for self-determination in Hong Kong. Similarly, radical Syrian authors like Leila al-Shami show that it is possible to take account for all the different scales of warfare at once. This is especially important when the autocrats of our struggles are inter-connected. Leila al-Shami shows how we can support activists against fascism, multiple imperialisms, and the “anti-imperialism of idiots” in a three-way fight instead of picking a lesser-evil imperialist or fascist with which to align. Short-sighted alliances can lead to long-term consequences and trade-offs preventing our ability to act in global solidarity. Without being purists, we must weigh all the risks facing liberatory activism, including from fascists pretending to be on our team. Exposing the creeping tendrils of red-brown helps ensure that our internationalism will actually create the world we dream of, rather than serve the purposes of the enemies of liberation.

Note: If the original of a source has been cited, but has since been deleted please check archive.today or archive.org where we have archived them all. If the archive is linked and it doesnt include video content, double check if the original link is still live. Also, this article was contributed to by a huge number of researchers, many of whom are anonymous because of systematic efforts by this network to slander, harass, threaten, bully, and silence them. A special thanks to David Klaus who did a lot of research for this and also even wrote some parts of it. Without all of their contributions this work would not have been possible. When reviewing citations in this article please use discretion about the quality of each source rather than assuming they are all of equally vouched for quality and independence as this type of research requires trawling the fringes and sussing out state-influenced materials.

[1] This article is cited not out of an agreement with it, but as evidence of the way that Marcyism is thought of within some Marxist communities.

[2] If you feel badgered by citations in these articles, it is simply a defense against claims of inadequate evidence usually coming from those implicated.

[3] Chossududovsky also received a gold medal of merit from the Serbian government in 2014. The website also publishes a lot of chetnik propaganda insisting the massacres of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian forces during the Yugoslav Wars were fabricated. There is also quite a bit of Greater Serbia irredentism and revanchism on the website if one uses ultra-nationalist keywords in a search.

[4] CounterPunch keeps citing Global Research well into 2020: https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.counterpunch.org%2F+Chossudovsky

[5] John Laughland, author at Global Research, is also an affiliate of the Ron Paul Institute and Kremlin-funded Institute of Democracy and Cooperation

[6] Members rotate in and out of the Italian Gepolitica committee

https://web.archive.org/web/20120112074208/http://www.geopolitica-rivista.org/comitato-scientifico/ (first mention of Chossudovsky, Engdahl and Nazemroaya)
https://web.archive.org/web/20141104072838/http://www.eurasia-rivista.org/generenza/comitato-scientifico/ (Dugin and Engdahl)

https://web.archive.org/web/20140705032031/http://www.geopolitica-rivista.org/comitato-scientifico/ (Chossudovsky, Engdahl, Laughland, Nazemroaya)

https://web.archive.org/web/20170715081831/http://www.geopolitica-rivista.org/comitato-scientifico/ (most recently archived)

[7] Engdahl’s own writings are recommended as part of Dugin’s Eurasianist curriculum [PDF, 15MB, Russian] with the text «Египетская революция: ‹творческое разрушение› для Большого Ближнего Востока?» under the transliterated name Уильям Энгдаль on pg. 36–⁠45 and the book “Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order” [trans. «Полный спектр доминирования: тоталитарная демократия в Новом мировом порядке»] is mentioned on pg. 348. Dugin would also mention Engdahl in several lectures.

[8] Global Research is referenced by several news agencies such as Iranian Republic News, FARS News, Mashregh News, Student News and Kayhan.

[9] For more on Global Research and their relationship with fascism with direct documentations or citations of instances please read, “An Investigation Into Red-Brown Alliances: Third Positionism, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, And The Western Left” or just the section on them.

[10] Even Russian Marxists are frustrated with the US American left’s analyses of Russia and imperialism. Similarly a broad spectrum of Chinese leftists have expressed related concerns.

[11] Some articles look at how The eXile grew to incorporate an influential mixture of syncretic red-brown politics and a culture of misogynistic sexual harassment.

[12] https://twitter.com/mehfoos/status/1249414711952781318?s=20, https://twitter.com/PatrickHilsman/status/1249438822477238280?s=20, https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/1249424654403547136?s=20

[13] Some examples: https://web.archive.org/web/20200811222926/https://www.rt.com/op-ed/authors/vanessa-beeley/

https://web.archive.org/web/20200811223037/https://sputniknews.com/tags/person_Vanessa_Beeley/

https://web.archive.org/web/20200811223530/https://www.rt.com/uk/449518-integrity-initiative-twitter-protected/

[14] She has since stripped In The Now from her Twitter bio.

[15] Even Marxist-Leninist communist parties have spoken against this type of behavior which can be seen even in official Chinese sources.

[16]

[17] This article discusses how we shouldn’t identify fascism with familiar markers as it mutates. This article goes into depth on how Russia does information warfare by blaming the West for everything and engineering an image of Russia being the boogeyman:.

Emmi Bevensee is a Doctoral Fellow at CARR and a Mozilla Open Web Fellow, Founder of the Social Media Analysis Toolkit (SMAT) and Rebellious Data LLC See full profile here.

© Emmi Bevensee. Views expressed on this website are individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect that of the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR). We are pleased to share previously unpublished materials with the community under creative commons license 4.0 (Attribution-NoDerivatives).