Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

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Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby BRoI » Tue May 02, 2017 1:54 pm

scrmbldggs made an interesting post r.e. Timothy Synder on another thread:

scrmbldggs wrote:I find his recent seeming, "Whatevar. I don't give a damn (anymore). Do as you wish." attitude worrisome. Maybe this man's concerns are valid? Yale historian warns it’s ‘inevitable’ that Trump will stage his own ‘Reichstag fire’ to save his presidency


I thought the journo had to be misrepresenting Synder, falsely suggesting he brought into the Reichstag fire CT. But, no, Synder really does claim it's possible the "nazis dun did it". Although that looks relatively mild compared to other conspiracy theories he propagates in his book:

The following is from GB's freeview, so I don't know the pages nos. or whether he cites sources for any of this:


Timothy Snyder, Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century wrote:
On February 27, 1933, at about nine p.m., the building housing the German parliament, the Reichstag, began to burn. Who set the fire that night in Berlin? We don't know, and it doesn't really matter. What matters is that this spectacular act of terror initiated the politics of emergency. Gazing with pleasure at the flames that night, Hitler said: "This fire is just the beginning." Whether or not the Nazis set the fire, Hitler saw the political opportunity: "There will be no mercy now. Anyone standing in our way will be cut down." The next day a decree suspended the basic rights of all German citizens, allowing them to be "preventively detained" by the police. On the strength of Hitler's claim that the fire was the work of Germany's enemies, the Nazi Party won a decisive victory in parliamentary elections on March 5. The police and the Nazi paramilitaries began to round up members of left-wing political parties and place them in improvised concentration camps. On March 23 the new parliament passed an "enabling act," which allowed Hitler to rule by decree. Germany then remained in a state of emergency for the next twelve years, until the end of the Second World War. Hitler had used an act of terror, an event of limited inherent significance, to institute a regime of terror that killed millions of people and changed the world.

The authoritarians of today are also terror managers, and if anything they are rather more creative. Consider the current Russian regime, so admired by the president. Vladimir Putin not only came to power in an incident that strikingly resembled the Reichstag fire, he then used a series of terror attacks—real, questionable, and fake—to remove obstacles to total power in Russia and to assault democratic neighbors.

When Putin was appointed prime minister by a failing Boris Yeltsin in August 1999, he was an unknown with a nugatory approval rating. The following month a series of buildings were bombed in Russian cities, apparently by the Russian secret state police. Its officers were arrested by their own colleagues with evidence of their guilt; in another case the speaker of the Russian parliament announced an explosion a few days before it took place. Nonetheless, Putin declared a war of revenge against Russia's Muslim population in Chechnya, promising to pursue the supposed perpetrators and "rub them out in the shithouse."

The Russian nation rallied; Putin's approval ratings skyrocketed; the following March he won presidential elections. In 2002, after Russian security forces killed scores of Russian civilians while suppressing a real terrorist attack at a Moscow theater, Putin exploited the occasion to seize control of private television. After a school in Beslan was besieged by terrorists in 2004 (in strange circumstances that suggested a provocation), Putin did away with the position of elected regional governors. Thus Putin's rise to power and his elimination of two major institutions—private television and elected regional governorships—were enabled by the management of real, fake, and questionable terrorism.

After Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, Russia introduced terror management into its foreign policy. In its invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Russia transformed units of its own regular army into a terrorist force, removing insignia from uniforms and denying all responsibility for the dreadful suffering they inflicted. In the campaign for the Donbas region of southeastern Ukraine, Russia deployed Chechen irregulars and sent units of its regular army based in Muslim regions to join the invasion. Russia also tried (but failed) to hack the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election.

In April 2015, Russian hackers took over the transmission of a French television station, pretended to be ISIS, and then broadcast material designed to terrorize France. Russia impersonated a "cybercaliphate" so that the French would fear terror more than they already did. The aim was presumably to drive voters to the Far-Right National Front, a party financially supported by Russia. After 130 people were killed and 368 injured in the terrorist attack on Paris of November 2015, the founder of a think tank close to the Kremlin rejoiced that terrorism would drive Europe toward fascism and Russia. Both fake and real Islamic terrorism in western Europe, in other words, were thought to be in the Russian interest.

In early 2016, Russia manufactured a moment of fake terror in Germany. While bombing Syrian civilians and thus driving Muslim refugees to Europe. Russia exploited a family drama to instruct Germans that Muslims were rapists of children. The aim, again, seems to have been to destabilize a democratic system and promote the parties of the extreme right.

The previous September, the German government had announced that it would take half a million refugees from the war in Syria. Russia then began a bombing campaign in Syria that targeted civilians. Having provided the refugees, Russia then supplied the narrative. In January 2016, the Russian mass media spread a story that a girl of Russian origin in Germany who had momentarily gone missing had been serially raped by Muslim immigrants. With suspicious alacrity, right-wing organizations in Germany organized protests against the government. When the local police informed the population that no such rape had taken place, Russian media accused them of a cover-up. Even Russian diplomats joined the spectacle.
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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby BRoI » Tue May 02, 2017 2:19 pm

Whilst reading Snyder's Reichstag fire conspiracy theorising, I immediately wondered how Sir Richard Evans, the arch-enemy of Reichstag fire conspiracy theorists, would react to Synder's claims.

Turns out that Evans reviewed the book for The Guardian, and wrote sweet FA about Synder's RF CT.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/08/on-tyranny-timothy-snyder-review-trump-twenty-lessons-democracy

Hard to believe this is the same man who wrote the highly informative and totally damning review of Benjamin Carter Hett's 2014 book about how the "nazis dun did the Reichstag fire".
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n09/richard-j-evans/the-conspiracists
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue May 02, 2017 3:21 pm

Blecch, Snyder repeats the truther "Putin blew up the houses" CT. There goes my respect for him.

Earlier it happened with Paul Gregory who endorsed the same CT (not to mention him being a Trump supporter).

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Jeff_36 » Tue May 02, 2017 3:30 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:Blecch, Snyder repeats the truther "Putin blew up the houses" CT. There goes my respect for him.


But didn't he? I was under the impression that the universally accepted conclusion was that Putin did arrange the apartment bombings?

In regards to the Reichstag Fire: Van der Lubbe was a pyromaniac and a half wit who acted alone. There is convincing evidence that the SA set the fire themselves, but I think that the majority of the evidence points to Van Der Lubbe.

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue May 02, 2017 3:33 pm

Universally accepted by whom? There is zero individually or cumulatively conclusive evidence for the CT.

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Jeff_36 » Tue May 02, 2017 4:12 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:Universally accepted by whom? There is zero individually or cumulatively conclusive evidence for the CT.


I have read multiple Putin biographies and they all seem to point in that direction, some more subtly than others. The only one who did not, IIRC, was Triseman.

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue May 02, 2017 7:35 pm

BRoI wrote:Whilst reading Snyder's Reichstag fire conspiracy theorising, I immediately wondered how Sir Richard Evans, the arch-enemy of Reichstag fire conspiracy theorists, would react to Synder's claims.

Turns out that Evans reviewed the book for The Guardian, and wrote sweet FA about Synder's RF CT.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/08/on-tyranny-timothy-snyder-review-trump-twenty-lessons-democracy

Hard to believe this is the same man who wrote the highly informative and totally damning review of Benjamin Carter Hett's 2014 book about how the "nazis dun did the Reichstag fire".
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n09/richard-j-evans/the-conspiracists


Not how I read it, Rabbit. Snyder is saying that Trump will try and use something similar to the Reichstag Fire to shut down Democracy.

As far as the Reichstag Fire, I've seen arguments for and against Nazi involvement.

Right now I'm preparing for a trip so I don't have time to discuss this more but I do find the subject interesting.

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Kleon_I XYZ Contagion » Tue May 02, 2017 9:17 pm

Did anyone read Snyder's book? I didn't, but I listened to him speaking on the subject.

Here he mentions Reichstag, in the context.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOqVW4etYo0

And he's pretty clear, I think.
Speaking of context, in my opinion, I think we miss the point here. He says clearly 'We don't know, and it doesn't really matter', and that's enough for me, so focusing in what he meant regarding the people who put the fire is more or less irrelevant. Snyder talks from the political perspective here, this is the core of his argument, democracy and threats to democracy, not some CSI details on the fire itself. He seems he doesn't care who put it.
My feeling is Snyder says 'It only takes a crucial moment like Reichstag for a fascist regime to rise and to enter a totalitarian era ...' etc. I know here we all are 'History-consumers' but Snyder wants to make a point based ON the 1933 facts, but NOT FOR the facts themselves.

As I said, my opinion, this is the way I think is the right way to look at this..
According to experts and scholars, the 10 stages of every genocide are
Classification Symbolization Discrimination Dehumanization Organization Polarization Preparation Persecution Extermination
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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby BRoI » Tue May 02, 2017 10:06 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Not how I read it, Rabbit. Snyder is saying that Trump will try and use something similar to the Reichstag Fire to shut down Democracy.

He is saying that, but you must have missed:
Synder wrote:Who set the fire that night in Berlin? We don't know, and it doesn't really matter.

Which is nonsense, we know for a fact that van der Lubbe alone started the fire. And despite their best efforts, the nazis couldn't convict any other communists of involvement, [sarcasm]because the stupid nazis forgot to plant evidence implicating them.[/sarcasm]

I'm not interested in pooh-poohing Synder's stupid prophecies about Trump, I'm merely concerned that a prominent historian is spreading a BS CT, and another prominent historian, Evans, gave him a pass on the RF CT despite his extensive knowledge on the subject.

Synder claims:
Gazing with pleasure at the flames that night, Hitler said: "This fire is just the beginning."


That's utter {!#%@}. He's misrepresenting and misquoting his source.
Delmer wrote: wrote:
Never have I seen Hitler with such a grim and determined expression. His eyes, always a little protuberant, were almost bulging out of his head. [...]

By a detour we next reached a part of the building which was actually in flames. Firemen were pouring water into the red mass.

Hitler watched them for a few moments, a savage fury blazing from his pale blue eyes.
Then we came upon Herr von Papen, urbane and debonair as ever. Hitler stretched out his hand and uttered the threat against the Communists which I have already quoted. He then turned to Captain Goring. "Are all the other public buildings safe?" he questioned.

"I have taken every precaution," answered Captain Goring. "The police are in the highest state of alarm, and every public building has been specially garrisoned. We arc waiting for anything."

It was then that Hitler turned to me. "God grant", he said, "that this is the work of the Communists. You are witnessing the beginning of a great new epoch in German history. This fire is the beginning.


Delmer altered his newspaper article for his book:
"In the next corridor Hitler fell back a bit and joined me. He was moved to prophesy: "God grant," he said, "that this be the work of the Communists. You are now witnessing the beginning of a great new epoch in German history, Herr Delmer. This fire is the beginning."
Just then he tripped over a hosepipe.
"You see this building," he said, recovering his balance.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Hitler nearly fell over after saying what Synder quote-mined, misquoted, and misrepresented.
I wonder if he knows that?

As far as the Reichstag Fire, I've seen arguments for and against Nazi involvement.

Well, I'll await to hear you best 'nazis dun did it' ones on your return. I expect it will be as grounded in reality as the Communist Party of Great Britain who still claim, in 2017, that the 'nazis dun did Katyn'

Right now I'm preparing for a trip so I don't have time to discuss this more but I do find the subject interesting.

Have a good one. I was in San Sebastian over the weekend; such good eating, and drinking.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Jeff_36 » Tue May 02, 2017 10:16 pm

.........and we have the little daft rabbit angry about a discrepancy of a few words between primary and secondary source, and dedicating a thread to it.

You've got issues bud.

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby BRoI » Wed May 03, 2017 12:15 am

Image
They're both primary sources, and neither was even mentioned to thread post no.9.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby BRoI » Wed May 03, 2017 12:20 am

In Bloodlands [2010], Synder accepted that van der Lubbe alone set the fire, but opted not to mention he was a communist.

For some of the Germans and other Europeans who favored Hider and his enterprise, the cruelty of Soviet policy seemed to be an argument for National Socialism. In his stirring campaign speeches, Hitler portrayed communists and the Soviet state as the great enemies of Germany and Europe. During the very first crisis of his young chancellorship, he exploited fears of communism to gather more power to himself and his office. On 27 February 1933, two days after Hitler and Jones[*] had landed in Frankfurt, a lone Dutchman set fire to the German parliament building. Though the arsonist was caught in the act and confessed, Hitler immediately seized the occasion to demonize opposition to his new government. Working himself up into a theatrical display of rage, he shouted that "anyone who stands in our way will be butchered." Hitler blamed the Reichstag fire on German communists who, he claimed, were planning further terrorist attacks.

For Hitler, the timing of the Reichstag fire could not have been better. As head of government, he could move against his political opponents; as a candidate running for election, he could turn fear to his advantage. On 28 February 1933 a decree suspended the rights of all German citizens, allowing their "preventive detainment" In an atmosphere of insecurity, the Nazis decisively won the elections on 5 March, with 43.9 percent of the vote and 288 seats in the Reichstag. [p.60]

[* Welshman Gareth Jones, the first foreign journalist to accompany Chancellor Hitler on a flight—Berlin to Frankfurt]


I wondered what was the evidence which convinced Synder to change his mind and start claiming, in print and on TV, that *we don't know who burnt the Reichstag*.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed May 03, 2017 12:26 am

BRoI wrote:Not how I read it, Rabbit. Snyder is saying that Trump will try and use something similar to the Reichstag Fire to shut down Democracy.
He is saying that, but you must have missed:
Synder wrote:Who set the fire that night in Berlin? We don't know, and it doesn't really matter.

Which is nonsense, we know for a fact that van der Lubbe alone started the fire. And despite their best efforts, the nazis couldn't convict any other communists of involvement, [sarcasm]because the stupid nazis forgot to plant evidence implicating them.[/sarcasm]


No, I saw what he said, Rabbit. Van Der Lubbe did set the fire but he may not have acted alone. Some evidence of Nazi involvement exists. I don't have time to track that down but I will once I get back. As I said, I find the subject interesting.

I'm not interested in pooh-poohing Synder's stupid prophecies about Trump, I'm merely concerned that a prominent historian is spreading a BS CT, and another prominent historian, Evans, gave him a pass on the RF CT despite his extensive knowledge on the subject.


From what I remember Evans does believe Van Der Lubbe acted alone but, again, I'll track this down when I get back.

Synder claims:
Gazing with pleasure at the flames that night, Hitler said: "This fire is just the beginning."


That's utter {!#%@}. He's misrepresenting and misquoting his source.
Delmer wrote: wrote:
Never have I seen Hitler with such a grim and determined expression. His eyes, always a little protuberant, were almost bulging out of his head. [...]

By a detour we next reached a part of the building which was actually in flames. Firemen were pouring water into the red mass.

Hitler watched them for a few moments, a savage fury blazing from his pale blue eyes.
Then we came upon Herr von Papen, urbane and debonair as ever. Hitler stretched out his hand and uttered the threat against the Communists which I have already quoted. He then turned to Captain Goring. "Are all the other public buildings safe?" he questioned.

"I have taken every precaution," answered Captain Goring. "The police are in the highest state of alarm, and every public building has been specially garrisoned. We arc waiting for anything."

It was then that Hitler turned to me. "God grant", he said, "that this is the work of the Communists. You are witnessing the beginning of a great new epoch in German history. This fire is the beginning.


Delmer altered his newspaper article for his book:
"In the next corridor Hitler fell back a bit and joined me. He was moved to prophesy: "God grant," he said, "that this be the work of the Communists. You are now witnessing the beginning of a great new epoch in German history, Herr Delmer. This fire is the beginning."
Just then he tripped over a hosepipe.
"You see this building," he said, recovering his balance.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Hitler nearly fell over after saying what Synder quote-mined, misquoted, and misrepresented.
I wonder if he knows that?


That's interesting. I believe I've read that before.

As far as the Reichstag Fire, I've seen arguments for and against Nazi involvement.
Well, I'll await to hear you best 'nazis dun did it' ones on your return.


I'm hoping to stun and amaze you, Rabbit. It's what I live for.

I expect it will be as grounded in reality as the Communist Party of Great Britain who still claim, in 2017, that the 'nazis dun did Katyn'


Wait, you mean to tell me....the Nazis didn't murder the Polish officers at Katyn??????????????

:shock:


:lol:

I'm screwing with you Rabbit. I'm well aware of what the Germans did....and didn't do....during the war.



Right now I'm preparing for a trip so I don't have time to discuss this more but I do find the subject interesting.
Have a good one. I was in San Sebastian over the weekend; such good eating, and drinking.


Thank you Rabbit.

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby BRoI » Wed May 03, 2017 12:50 am

A song about cheating on your wife, IIRC, from HotG.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Jeff_36 » Wed May 03, 2017 12:57 am

BRoI wrote:Have a good one. I was in San Sebastian over the weekend; such good eating, and drinking.


You always struck me as more of an Ibitha type.

Which one is you by the way?


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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Denying-History » Wed May 03, 2017 2:22 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
BRoI wrote:Whilst reading Snyder's Reichstag fire conspiracy theorising, I immediately wondered how Sir Richard Evans, the arch-enemy of Reichstag fire conspiracy theorists, would react to Synder's claims.

Turns out that Evans reviewed the book for The Guardian, and wrote sweet FA about Synder's RF CT.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/08/on-tyranny-timothy-snyder-review-trump-twenty-lessons-democracy

Hard to believe this is the same man who wrote the highly informative and totally damning review of Benjamin Carter Hett's 2014 book about how the "nazis dun did the Reichstag fire".
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n09/richard-j-evans/the-conspiracists


Not how I read it, Rabbit. Snyder is saying that Trump will try and use something similar to the Reichstag Fire to shut down Democracy.

As far as the Reichstag Fire, I've seen arguments for and against Nazi involvement.

Right now I'm preparing for a trip so I don't have time to discuss this more but I do find the subject interesting.


Meh, it doesn't mean that Snyder isn't being a bit conspiratorial with his latest writings. Mind that we haven't exactly elected a tyrant so much as an complete idiot.
« Oral history is a complex field. After all, memory can be a distorting mirror, as anyone who has ever worked with memoir literature knows very well...They may be imperfect, and, at times, inaccurate as the narrator tries to cast himself in the most favorable light, but all sources are imperfect. Even an archival document reflects how the person who drafted it understood something and remains something less than the unvarnished truth. »
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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed May 03, 2017 6:15 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Sergey_Romanov wrote:Universally accepted by whom? There is zero individually or cumulatively conclusive evidence for the CT.


I have read multiple Putin biographies and they all seem to point in that direction, some more subtly than others. The only one who did not, IIRC, was Triseman.

I wouldn't trust any bio about Bush that would even subtly hint in the direction of 9/11 being an inside job. Why should the same not be applied to any such bio of Putin, given the absence of evidence that would be anywhere near to conclusive?

The only piece of evidence that even comes close to incriminating, and is always bandied about, is the Ryazan incident, and it can be explained in multiple ways:

1. The official version (training exercise) coupled with the organizational chaos (quite plausible for Russia, esp. at that time); real bombings by Islamists. That Islamist bombings are plausible as such, and in particular (the specific culprits have been caught and sentenced) requires no further comment. As for the plausibility of exercises, the exercises of a similar nature did happen in other cities in that same period; e.g. FSB spokesman Zdanovich told Ekho Moskvy on 16.09.99 (i.e. before the Ryazan incident) about how FSB planted a dummy bomb in Moscow as a part of an exercise.

2. The "middle" version: there was no actual training exercise and no bomb. FSB wanted to stage a "show" operation by successfully "finding" and "defusing" a bomb - and failed, and tried to backpedal. That's the opinion of the liberal investigator Sergey Kovalyov, then head of the commission on investigating the bombings.

3. The "FSB did all the bombings".

There is actually no credible evidence that the mix found in the bags was explosive: the same expert that first alleged that it was explosive then failed to detonate it. Later the expert abandoned his claim. While some will say he was made to abandon it, that's arguing from possibility (something anti-HDers are familiar with). The point is, this claim was the whole basis for claiming the explosives were real and even if the expert abandons it, and the physical evidence (failure to detonate) is against it, then there is no firm basis for the claim anymore.

Claims about Putin's motives are meh - the war had already started by then, and the Chechen side had given plenty of reasons for a military operation even before the incursion into Dagestan, incl. kidnapping high-ranking Russian officials. Of course, "he wanted good ratings" argument could just as well be applied to Bush.

The rest of the secondary arguments, like Seleznyov's remark, are akin to the 9/11 truthers clinging onto Silverstein's "pull it" etc.

The last version is the least plausible and one has to be biased in favor of this particular version for whatever reason to claim that it was a proven fact or at least a safe assumption.

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed May 03, 2017 6:32 am

PS: Just so that it is clear, my true opinion on Putin cannot be stated here because I will likely be banned. For those not in the clear, there is this comment thread http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... d-now.html

I just don't let my hatreds get in the way of rationality.

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Jeff_36 » Wed May 03, 2017 2:59 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:The only piece of evidence that even comes close to incriminating, and is always bandied about, is the Ryazan incident


That's what is referred to.


2. The "middle" version: there was no actual training exercise and no bomb. FSB wanted to stage a "show" operation by successfully "finding" and "defusing" a bomb - and failed, and tried to backpedal. That's the opinion of the liberal investigator Sergey Kovalyov, then head of the commission on investigating the bombings.


After reconsideration, I now lean towards this theory. The FSB was a very chaotic organization at the time and seemed to straddle the line between security agency and profit-driven criminal enterprise. Look no further than the famed "Ski Mask Press Conference" for evidence of that. It is entirely plausible that some figures within the agency, wanting to curry favor with the newly appointed Prime Minister/heir apparent, arranged a show of competency that blew up in their faces.

3. The "FSB did all the bombings".


After reconsideration, I now accept that there is no real evidence for this theory.

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Re: Timothy Synder goes full Infowars

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed May 03, 2017 6:30 pm

It's hard for me to conclusively decide between the first two versions. There was certainly enough weirdness in how the FSB conducted things to warrant a good look at the second version. I would add that the blatant way in which the FSB agents behaved themselves adds some ammo to the first version. The time of the operation, but most importantly the fact that they glued over a part of their car number with a piece of paper and wrote the Ryazan region number by hand rather points in the direction of a "vigilance test". Indeed, that's how they got noticed. It's quite unlikely that professionals serious about their task would have failed that much.


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