October 31st, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– A letter to the Fort Russ family, from Joaquin Flores –
Dear Fort Russ readers and supporters,
It’s been a long road! I want to take this moment to thank you for your continued readership and support, and directly reach out to you to share some critical information about who we are, what we are about, and the exciting plans we have for Fort Russ News.
There are many sites which cover Russia and the Axis of Resistance, and you have many options. Nevertheless you turn to Fort Russ, and this means the world to us. Your continued support, feedback, comments, and criticisms help us along the way.
We think you’re with us because of the quality of our coverage of breaking news, world events, and original translations of some of Eurasia’s most popular bloggers and analysts, that can’t be found anywhere else on the net. But as you’ve seen and figured out, we are more than just a news site. We don’t just cover the axis of resistance – we are part of it. Because you share our news and critical analysis far and wide, you are part of it too.
We are political soldiers, information warriors, dedicated to bringing critical information to the public so that informed decisions can be made. And these are certainly very trying times where difficult decisions need to be made.
A lot of sites that are also popular are actually news or content aggregation sites. These are not ‘news organizations’ like Fort Russ – just bots that collate news from sources already available to you the reader elsewhere. That poses some difficult questions for us, and some very big challenges.
Those models rely on a parasite/vulture model to survive – without news and content creation news orgs like Fort Russ, they’d have nothing to cannibalize. To be clear, not all content aggregation sites are on the balance parasitic – we’d describe our relationship with those as symbiotic. We aren’t here of course to lecture our already well informed readers about what to read or where to read it. We know very well that our dedicated readers understand the daily grind our staff endures in order to follow leads, suss out fake news from the real deal, or endure painstakingly difficult translations from category two languages like Arabic and Russian.
We’ve made it a point to have a highly competent group of editors. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m proud of our team. All of our folks aren’t just news-line writers, they are journalists and editors – and it doesn’t end there. Everyone on our team has a university level specialization in one of the related fields like law, international relations, political science – and let’s not forget our own resident philologist, professor Tom Winter. That means when we are sussing out leads, following stories, or breaking stories from hot spots like Syria and Iraq or the Donbass, we aren’t just walking into these blindly and without specific context and even some degree of real expertise. We never regurgitate the common media talking points which flood the corporate live streams, big budget news sites, and TV sets. Real journalism involves speaking truth the power.
Much of what passes for journalism today is simply being a stenographer for power. That’s far from anything useful in terms of real journalism. Real journalism requires having an intimate and growing knowledge of the subject matter as well as the critical thinking skills required to separate the wheat from the chaff.
When Fort Russ was founded at the end of 2014 as a humble but forward looking blog run by a mother of four, K. Kharlova, and a few of her friends including myself, our only goal in mind at the time was to bring breaking news and important stories especially from Russia, Novorossiya and Ukraine which couldn’t be found anywhere else on the web.
What some of you may not have known is that from day one, we maintained a fierce independence from any control from any outside institution, government, or corporate entity.
There’s been days we’ve skipped meals, and lots of sleepless nights, trying to figure out how to make it work and keep it working.
Some years ago the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an official pronouncement claiming that United States was losing the Information War. This was a tremendous admission and one which everyone could see was blatantly true. Now to be clear, we know that if the US government, the privately owned Federal Reserve, and the military industrial complex are losing the Information War, that means that regular Americans are winning.
We need to get into some matters of great import and detail now with you.
Back in May we came under attack, another round of attacks from Facebook and the corporatist controlled media, as we previously wrote at the time. We had endured these through the end of the Obama administration as well. But in the period of January through May 2017 there was certainly a ratcheting up of the enemy’s efforts.
We only touched upon the nature of these attacks last May. These weren’t just virtual attacks, but included attempts at infiltration; agents of chaos sent to wreak havoc in person here in Belgrade on multiple occasions. We have actually dealt with these, now as we put the pieces together, since 2015. There have been several attempts since.
One such agent by the name of Harmon, posed as a friend and supporter of Fort Russ and related projects, and turned out to be a member of the Order of Nine Angles cult, a British M15 subversion and intel gathering project led by David Myatt, who is known in some circles as Anton Long. This individual wrote some articles for Fort Russ during a brief period in May 2017. His attempts to discourage our work and ruin our morale through various methods failed, until his mysterious death several days after his final failed attempt at disruption. His decomposing body was discovered in his Belgrade apartment by the local authorities a week later. He was found to have not only an American, but also an Israeli passport.
There’s a bit more where that came from, and perhaps some day we’ll write about it.
As a result, we now take our security much more seriously. We are open to any assistance from experts in the field, whom we can trust. We are in the process of acquiring for ourselves security cams and debugging equipment.
We made a direct plea to Fort Russ readers and supporters back in May, that we were in a serious pinch. The Clintons and their paymasters have been redoubling their efforts, and are working tirelessly to create walled gardens that limit our reach, audience echo chambers that prevent our message from pushing beyond our core readership of several scores of thousands of daily readers. Our readership reach is not small, rather it’s good, even great by some standards – but also not enough. Our attitude is that we must persevere and be relentless until the promise of final victory is fulfilled.
We were elated to find an unexpected outpouring of support in response to our May 2017 plea. Because of this, we are still with you today. This was tremendous on your part, and even just as a point of morale, it was a considerable boost. From one single, though critical ask – something in the neighborhood of $1,500 came in within a 48 hour period. This allowed us to settle some debts to our parent organization, and pay our expert editors.
I want to reiterate once again that everyone on our team has the education and experience to work for any major corporation, and earn literally 20 times more (2000%) working for a western firm. This is not said for any other reason than to demonstrate the commitment and sacrifice that our team makes – not just once, but every day, and day by day. We also know that any number of you our readers have made similar sacrifices – ones you are proud of and have zero regrets about. Perhaps this is part of what it means to be a good person in the world as it exists today.
We very seriously can’t thank you all enough. These very words fall short in expressing it.
We know there are news aggregating and collating sites that focus the energies of their one actual human being on making constant pitches to the readers. We call this e-begging and maybe we are wrong for believing this, but it has always struck us as undignified at best, and even dishonest at worst in the case that the ‘news’ published is just copy-paste and aggregating/collating from real news writing sites like Fort Russ.
Yes, the ‘economics’ of the internet and capitalism in general, certainly work against our model. Our model is designed not for the world we live in, but the world we ought to live in. We admit this is a bit idealistic, and perhaps even unsustainable. We know our readers understand that our sacrifices to keep this going – yours and ours – are well worth the struggle.
We realize that given the new media reality, where the corporatocracy colludes with the largest advertising networks to crush voices of resistance like ours, we need to continually re-think our tactics, re-design our site to be more user friendly and up-to-date, and re-apply ourselves to expanding into new territories of multi-media using new and creative methods. All good words and ideas – but the implementation is tough.
We admit that we are too humble to ask for another round of support from you. So we aren’t going to. Donation pitches are never recommended to be this wordy and detailed!
Instead we’re going to pay it forward and share with you some of the things we plan to do starting this coming Winter season.
First, we’re going to more clearly connect all of our projects from our broad network of expert analysts, political soldiers, on a more regular basis here on Fort Russ. We have friends, allies, and contacts all around the world, whom we know personally, and whom you know already from various counter-hegemonic media outlets, whether state run (RT, Press TV, Telesur, etc.) or independent.
You will be seeing more of the well known and award winning analysts and personalities that you already have seen and heard out there in the world of real journalism. And we’re also going to be promoting new voices – experts and personalities – that are up and coming, younger and older alike – who are barely now coming forward to make public their expertise and opposition to the present New World Disorder.
Fort Russ operates as the daily news wing of the Center for Syncretic Studies. The CSS think tank was founded in 2013 on the main idea that mankind and systems of belief – religions and ideologies – are inseparable, and also ever-changing. Rather than taking a negative view of this fact of life, we embrace it. The belief that ideology as a category can be transcended is itself an ideological view – a misleading one promoted by the ideology of Liberalism.
|The sigil and seal of CSS|
The political movement we power, New Resistance, is also a critical component of our work in fostering this generation’s wave of political soldiers, armed with a coherent arsenal that will aid them in their fight. Influential and growing autonomous chapters have taken root in places around the world and as different from each other as day and night, including Brazil, France, Italy, England, and the US. That said, NR takes a friendly approach and attitude to all resistance movements around the world, regardless of ideology, provided they aren’t sock-puppets for the banksters, or color-revolution schemes.
|A New Resistance poster, Brazil section|
Belief systems continue to evolve, and we are interested in understanding these changes, and getting ahead of the curve. Moreover, we are actually part of constructing these. Part of this means moving beyond the stale and divisive categories and the politics of ‘left and right’. For these reasons our critics often accuse us of being pro-left or pro-right. We are neither – we are pro-human.
This involves perhaps a transvaluation of all hitherto existing values. It may involve understanding that some of the beliefs and the values of the past, which the Plutocrats publicly lecture are mere relics of history, may indeed come to save us in the future.
This will also involve a respect and understanding of the past, ancient societies and traditional cultures, and not narrowing our influences and inspirations to any given single locus. It means defending the right of peoples of the world towards self-determination, and defending a global ecosystem of diversity and beauty. We are learning what beauty means and what it means to bring beauty into the world. It involves understanding that there are ‘haves and have-nots’, and that the present distribution of the worlds’ wealth, resources, and power in no way resembles what anyone can rightly call just or even sustainable.
Without exaggerating one iota, we can affirm that the future health of civilizations on the planet require a sea-change in many areas. The global system of imperialism, as it is for example generally well described by the radical left, is chief among the phenomenon most threatening to justice and sustainability on this planet.
Second, we’re involved currently in a massive site redesign that will be many times more user friendly, with faster loading times, with a cleaner presentation, as well as one better suited for tablets and smart phones too.
We’re launching a video news round-up that may eventually go daily, that will be an integrated feature of the new site. The budget for this at first will be low, and we’ll gauge viewer reaction, and increase our budget accordingly.
In connection with this, since we are actually a half-dozen real journalists, we’re going to increase our ‘personality presence’ – and connect with readers in a better way. The folks here at Fort Russ are all, indeed, tremendously real and likable people who each have a unique take on the world’s events as they unfold. We’ll be hearing more directly from them, as they connect more directly with you.
We’re going to make it easier to share articles far and wide, and develop a program to incentive and track that, where our ‘Fort Russ Army’ – you – will earn Fort Russ, CSS, and New Resistance merchandise, books and journals, t-shirts and coffee mugs.
Finally, and pragmatically, we’re going to build better relationships with new advertisers, as well as advertising better suited to our editorial line. The monopoly of Google and Adsense is not only corporatist, but also a NATO-Zionist intelligence project aimed at turning the tide of the Information War in favor of the powers that be. We expect at any moment to be shut down from Twitter and Facebook. You won’t see us turn tail and run if this happens, rather it will harden our resolve.
We have everything to win and nothing to lose. Fort Russ marches on – forward ever, backward never!
Editor-in-Chief, Fort Russ News
Joaquin Flores is Editor-in-Chief of Fort Russ News, as well as the Director of the Belgrade based think-tank, the Center for Syncretic Studies. He was educated at California State University Los Angeles, in the field of International Relations. He previously served as Chief Negotiator and Internal Organizer in several jurisdictions for the SEIU labor union in California. Flores has twenty years experience in community, labor, and anti-war organizing. Flores has appeared innumerable times on Iran’s ‘PressTV’ and Russia’s ‘RT’ news to share his expert opinion and analysis on current geopolitical matters.