The Melbourne launch of Tony’s latest book, being held at Readings in Hawthorn Monday, 25 November 2019, is likely to attract an interesting and critical audience. This book looks at the “last two action-packed years” – which is to say “false-flag packed” years, because it’s about the way Australian media and the Australian commentariat has enabled Imperial lies to spread and take hold in the population. The key ones Tony considers are the Syrian chemical weapons stories, the Skripal poisoning hoax, and Ukraine/Crimea. He centers his study around the disinformation operations of the Institute for Statecraft and the way he thinks it is operating in Australia to counter the “Russian point of view”.
The new book is, Russia and the West – the last two action packed years 2017-19 by Tony Kevin. ISBN 9780987319029 RRP $25 in stockist bookstores, or by direct post from author. Tony is himself an entertaining, down-to-earth and informative speaker, with a background in cold-war diplomacy in Russia.
It explores two main themes.
First, the persistent but generally unsuccessful efforts by Western (mainly US and British) government-supported disinformation agencies, increasing in intensity over the past three years, to discredit Russian foreign policy in the eyes of the Western public, as seen most clearly on issues of Syrian CW, Ukraine war, the Skripals affair and Russiagate.
Second, the rather more successful local efforts here to exclude the writer and his work as a foreign policy analyst from the public space, as a writer who overstepped the ‘Chomsky envelope’ of what is permissible to advance in public discussion. The desirability and possibility of seeking relaxation of tensions with Russia is apparently a do-not-touch subject in most Australian public discourse these days. The book explores how this situation came about, and its consequences, in the context of other , more prominent, current threats to freedom of expression in Australia.
Melbourne, Readings, 701 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, 25 November, 6 for 6.30 pm with online journalist Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz (entry free)
Recording of a timely and important interview with Tony Kevin, author of Return to Moscow UWA 2017. As a young Australian diplomat, Tony Kevin visited Brezhnev's Soviet Union in from 1969-1971. He returned on official business in 1985 when Chernenko was in power, then again, very briefly, in 1990. During these times he was not able to get to know the Russians due to the policy of both governments against fraternisation, thus Russia ironically became a source of growing fascination for him. He continued to inform his fascination from many sources, always at a distance. Concerned today by the threat to peace from US-NATO anti-Russian propaganda, and more fascinated by Russia than ever, he returned on his own to Russia (no longer the Soviet Union, of course) in 2016. Return to Moscow examines past and present attitudes to the people of Russia and to its leaders through empathic eyes and an understanding of the change in geopolitics from cold war to US interventionist.
On Putin: "Not since Britain's concentrated personal loathing of their great strategic enemy Napoleon in the Napoleonic wars was so much animosity brought to bear on one leader. Propaganda and demeaning language against Putin became more systemic, sustained and near universal in Western foreign policy and media communities than had ever been directed against any Soviet communist leader at the height of the Cold War. This hostile campaign evoked an effective defensive global media strategy by Russia. [...] A new kind of information Cold War took shape, with - paradoxically - Western media voices more and more speaking with one disciplined Soviet-style voice, and Russian counter voices fresher, more diverse and more agile." [Cited from Tony Kevin's book.] The interview in the video took place at Russia House in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. It was organised by Claire Woods of the Traveller's Bookstore. The interviewer was Associate Professor Judith Armstrong, former head of European Languages Department at Melbourne University.
JON FAINE: "Russia's found it can't match the west militarily. It can't match the west financially. It can't match the west in industrial design, invention and technology, but it can undo the west through the west's Archilles' heel - democracy."
TONY KEVIN: "No. Russia can match the west militarily. It has a huge nuclear deterrent. We tend to talk among ourselves as though that doesn't exist anymore. It's as if we've all said, 'if we don't talk about nuclear weapons, they won't be there.' But they are there. There are militaries on both sides of the frontier training all the time in how to use tactical weapons. This is the world we live in. And Russia has also gained the great command of this country that used to be clunky and used to be unable to keep up with the west technologically. They're now world leaders in handling information technology, as you know."
Back to the video of the Russia House talk: In response to a question from the audience, Tony Kevin concludes his interview with this statement:
"And I say it here and I say it because of Jon Faine: Syria is one of the points where World War 3 could start. The other two are Ukraine and the Balkan states, on the border of Russia, because, in all these situations, there's a lack of understanding, of comprehension of the other side's point of view. There's a self-righteousness and there's a - I think if Hillary Clinton had been elected president, we would already have war involving the west, Russia, and Syria. That's how bad it is. [...] I know Russia's got a very bad press on Syria, but my position is that Russia is there at the request of a sovereign government, which is run by a man called President Assad, which has a seat in the United Nations, and Russia is trying to help that government hold that country together. And, what are we doing in Syria? We seem to be supporting a change in cast of opposition elements, many of whom we don't really know what their politics are, some of whom are extremely unpleasant people, who do extremely unpleasant things. And, so Syria is a mess. But I'm glad that Russia is trying to help bring about some peace and order in Syria."
Yes, Return to Russia is a very important book, with its author in a position of unique authority, given the perspective of his age and his experience of different epoques in Russia and western deep state international policies. Fortunately it will be hard for the Establishment to completely bury his opinion, so lucidly expressed.