When immigrants become propagandists and foot-soldiers for US power – intersectional imperialism continues Cold War practices

Every imperialist empire recruits a section from the oppressed to become its foot-soldiers and propagandists. The ‘native’ recruit absorbs the outlook of imperial power, and does their level best to advocate further imperial expansion. The British practiced this technique, making the Gurkhas an invaluable propaganda tool for empire, as well as a reliable proxy force.

In the days of the British empire, their mandarins were taught all the main works of the Romans. The administrators and foot-soldiers of empire were taught that Rome represented the pinnacle of achievement. This kind of soft power propaganda not only created functionaries for empire, but also convinced selected minorities from the empire’s subjects to adopt the ideology of imperial benevolence.

So it is interesting to read that Kosovar Albanian troops are being deployed to the Malvinas, or Falklands Islands. Ostensibly on a training exercise, the Kosovo soldiers are assisting in solidifying the hold of the British over the disputed Malvinas/Falklands Islands. The latter, located in the South Atlantic, were seized by Britain in 1833.

It is quite reasonable to observe that the Kosovo Albanian troops are being transformed into the new Gurkhas for the British empire, even though the latter is a shrivelled, decrepit shell of its former self. The Malvinas/Falklands Islands, an outpost of British imperialism in the South Atlantic, was the target of an ill-conceived military invasion by the former Argentine dictatorship in 1982.

The military dictatorship which ruled Argentina for so many decades was a violently repressive government. However, most anti-imperialist nations and parties, while heavily rebuking the dictatorship in Buenos Aires, supported the right of Argentina to retake the Malvinas/Falklands Islands. The current Argentine government strongly criticised the deployment of Kosovo soldiers to the Islands, and has refused to send armaments to the US-backed Zelensky regime in Kyiv.

Intersectional imperialism and literary mercenaries

When it comes to the use and scope of soft power, the US empire is preeminent. Deploying weaponised immigrant stories in defence of American imperial interests is a technique of power projection perfected by the US imperial state. A large corporatised bureaucracy of mandarins churn out materials that are propaganda in all but name. Indeed, the correct term encapsulating this soft power projection is intersectional imperialism.

This involves deploying the tactic of diversity to misrepresent the political and economic agenda of imperialist power as inclusive and respectful of minorities. This technique is actually a new iteration of an old Cold War era tactic. Using manufactured dissidents as spokespersons of American empire dates back to the cultural and economic warfare of the US against the Soviet Union.

As veteran journalist and political commentator Yasha Levin writes:

These weaponized immigrants don’t get a lot of attention, but they are extremely important. They form the backbone of our Empire’s sprawling, multi-billion dollar soft (and not so soft) power apparatus. They inhabit everything from positions within the foreign policy structures of our government, to traditional media outlets and newspapers, to cleaned-up CIA fronts like Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia, to privatized spook ops like the National Endowment for Democracy, to all sorts of oligarch funded non-profits and smaller regime change lobbies like Free Russia and the Uyghur Congress — and all the way down to half-forgotten rebranded Vietnamese terror groups and bizarre Chinese and Iranian cults.

This construction of a sophisticated imperialist soft power propaganda machine, pioneered by the CIA and conservative think tanks, has continued until today. The little-known National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is basically a second CIA, a repository of weaponised immigrant personnel churning out propaganda for empire.

Utilising ultranationalist and Nazi collaborator migrants from Eastern Europe, the US government provided a media platform for these ultrarightist insurgents to spread their messages of hate. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has its origins in this soft power propagandist campaign. Such outlets have promoted immigrant stories not out of any sense of multiculturalism, but as ideological weapons against the Eastern bloc. Such propaganda tactics have expanded to include migrants from a range of nations outside Eastern Europe.

It is one thing to oppose the policies of the Chinese government. Whether you agree or disagree with the Communist Party of China is a subject up for debate. However, the ultranationalist fanatics at the US-sponsored World Uyghur Congress (WUC) are doing much more than merely expressing their opinions. They are engaging as foot-soldiers and propagandists for a war with China. Beneath a veneer of respectability is an ideological commitment to Pan-Turkic racism, viewing themselves as the eastern most branch of an envisioned Pan-Turkic empire.

As an arm of imperial regime change, the Uyghur separatists have their political origins in the Turkic far right. One of the pioneers of this brand of separatism, Erkin Alptekin, has not only sought the resurrection of a greater Turkish empire encompassing all the Turkic peoples of Central Asia. As one of the first presidents of the WUC, he fully supported the US war on Vietnam. It is customary for the functionaries of empire to support imperialist wars fought by their benefactors around the world.

Questioning the pro-war narratives of the empire’s weaponised propagandists is a necessary condition to build an anti-war movement. Let’s avoid tobogganing towards further catastrophic wars by breaking down the corporatised imperial propaganda which saturates our lives and constructs a pro-war public.

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